After the Broncos beat the Steelers in the AFC wild-card playoff game last January millions of people searched the term John 3:16 because quarterback Tim Tebow had thrown for 316 yards and Tebow is the Christian who was known for wearing John 3:16 eye black during his college playing days in Florida.
But this isn’t about Tim Tebow throwing for 316 yards with only 10 completions meaning his average was also 31.6, this is about the verse itself, John 3:16. It’s a very popular bible verse among Christians but one that should be carefully examined as modern translations have not done it justice.
If you were one of the people who searched John 3:16 you might have read this:
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 NIV
That is the New International Version which is a popular but flawed modern bible version.
Or you might have read this if you stumbled upon the English Standard Version:
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 3:16 ESV
Again, we have a problem here. Jesus is not God’s one and only Son, or his only Son, Jesus is God’s only begotten Son and there is a difference. Especially in the Hebrew/Jewish culture who would readily understand what the only begotten son means. It’s not about origin, it’s about inheritance and equality.
So what is the correct translation? You always have to check the Authorized Version (also called King James bible) which in this case properly reads like this:
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. John 3:16 KJV
The term only begotten Son is necessary because it implies that Jesus Christ is of the very same essence as God the Father and conveys the truth about the essential oneness among the members of the Trinity.
Truth War: Eternal Inheritance
(Video description) This series explores the age old battle of Good vs Evil. Man is transcendent, therefore the spiritual battle of truth would be of eternal importance. The apostle Paul wrote “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” Ephesians 6:12. Welcome to the Truth War
In part 4 we hear from John MacArthur and Paul Washer as they discuss the importance of knowing God and the inheritance of the eternal, only begotten Son of God.