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Of course, we have many indications to that truth in the Old Testament, but it was only with the coming of Jesus Christ that it was spoken to humans in plain language that God has the Only-begotten Son.

How is this matter explained in the Catholicism, the Eastern Orthodoxy and main-stream Protestant Christianity?

  • Revelation was given to Israel. Look how many quotations are taken from the Hebrew scriptures by the apostolic authors in support of the gospel. And what of Jesus' question regarding how could David's Lord be David's son ? He could not be fully known or understood until he actually appeared. But much - oh so much - was already made known by Moses and the Prophets (for those who have eyes to see it !). – Nigel J Apr 12 at 20:13
  • @NigelJ - All of what you called revelation falls into the category of indications - sure, they were all later used as quotations, but they were not the revelation compared to how the Son of God was revealed later in the NT. "He could not be fully known or understood until he actually appeared" - That's exactly my question. Why didn't He, the Only-Begotten Son, appear to, say, Adam and Eve? – brilliant Apr 12 at 23:06
  • How do you know he didn't ? How did God communicate with Adam ? Can you tell ? Or can you tell what it means 'the voice of the Lord God walking . . . ? – Nigel J Apr 12 at 23:09
  • @NigelJ - "How do you know he didn't ?" - I am not sure about it, but what am sure is that if He did, it is for some reason still not reported in the OT. "And what of Jesus' question regarding how could David's Lord be David's son?" - Did David ever say in that place (Psalms) that his Lord was the Only-begotten Son of the first Lord? – brilliant Apr 12 at 23:14
  • David says in the hundred and tenth Psalm 'The LORD said unto my Lord . . . ' David knew two Divine Persons. How did he know them ? And he also knew the Holy Spirit 'Take not thy Holy Spirit from me' Psalm 51:11. – Nigel J Apr 12 at 23:18
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Why the revelation that God has the Only Begotten Son was not given to the ancient Hebrew people?

The simple biblical answer was written by St.Paul and this passages is the overview embraced by the Universal Church, East and West, and most Christians.

The gospel of Luke and Matthew and St.Paul explain that the Wisdom of God was purposely hidden from the Ancient Hebrew especially among the wise who embraced a false wisdom.

God, You Have Hidden These Things From the Wise But Revealed Them to the Childlike – Matthew 11:25-27 and Luke 10:21-24https://catholicreadings.org/bible-verse-of-the-day/god-you-have-hidden-these-things-from-the-wise-but-revealed-them-to-the-childlike/

"25 At that time Jesus exclaimed: “I give praise to you, Father, God of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike. 26 Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will."(Matthew11:25-27)

St.Paul clearly explained the mystery behind the "Only Begotten Son" was hidden from the wise or among theAncient Hebrew...

Spiritual Wisdom 6*Among the mature, however, we speak a message of wisdom—but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7No, we speak of the mysterious and hidden wisdom of God, which He destined for our glory before time began. 8None of the rulers of this age understood it. For if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.* (1Corinthian2:6-8)

Why didn't God instead of prophesying the coming of Messiah explicitly spoken thru the prophet that the coming Messiah will be the "only begotten Son", not created but will be "Light from Light" and "begotten" not made as written in the Apostles Creed and Athanasian Creed?

The answer can be found in Genesis3:15 and the ending can be found in 1917 approved Marian apparition in Fatima, Porutgal.

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+3%3A15&version=NABRE

Since God had declared a war, a perrenial enmity between Woman vs. Satan and their offsprings or cohorts, God purposely hidden His Divine Plan to the Ancient Hebrew because some of them as Jesus revealed and called them "brood of vipers and hypoctrites" written in Matthew12:34-37 and Jesus even warned them of the unforgivable sin.

"In the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph". https://catholicexchange.com/in-the-end-my-immaculate-heart-will-triumph

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  • Can you, please, elaborate on Genesis 3:15? – brilliant Apr 13 at 1:44
  • @brilliant See the link on Genesis3:15 and read the footnote. God declared a war, and He purposely hide His Divine Plan because Satan although fallen has still the gift of superb intellect. The Wisdom of God was hidden purposely to Satan first, and to Ancient Hebrew because God will use their blindness in perfectly executing God's Divine Plan which is the Way of the Cross hidden in the mystery of Herbew word "Bereshit" which means "The Son of the Almighty God willingly offered His life thru death on the Cross" (Genesis1:1) – itzsophia's vlogs Apr 13 at 1:56
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"Why was the revelation that God has the [an] Only Begotten Son not given to the ancient Hebrew people?"

There are two answers to this: it was and it wasn't! Answered in reverse order:

  1. It wasn't. Even though there are many hints, etc, that the coming saviour would be divine, these hints were not sufficient to control the thoughts of the Israelites/Jews in OT times concerning the coming saviour. Why is it that in the OT it is not made even more abundantly obvious that there is more than one person in the Triune Godhead and that the coming saviour would be the Son of God?

It needs to be remembered that in OT times all the surrounding nations worshipped a multiplicity of gods. A main purpose in the OT is to persuade the covenant people of God that there is ONLY ONE GOD. If the OT had spoken much about the coming Saviour being God then the temptation during the OT era would have been to suppose he would be a different god/ another god, that there is more than one God.

Once it has been established by the OT that there is only one God, the teaching of the NT about who Jesus Christ is becomes clear... he cannot be "a god" because the OT says there are no gods except the one true God.

The monotheism of the OT, then, lays the foundation stone of our understanding of the teaching of the NT concerning Christ our Lord. In the early church of the NT period, it was heavily indoctrinated Jewish believers, heavily indoctrinated in the teachings of monotheism, who tell us that Jesus is God made flesh. This lends much greater credibility to the teaching. If the Jews had not been indoctrinated in monotheism then their testimony concerning the deity of Christ could have been easily explained away... in that they were heavily indoctrinated in monotheism their testimony cannot be swept away with unbelieving rationalistic explanations.

The JW teaching that Jesus is "a god" but not "the God" is the kind of teaching which the whole thrust of the OT monotheism is designed to undermine/negate. God the Son, the Son of God, the one true God, became flesh and died for our sins. Praise Him.

  1. "What think you of Christ? is the test,

To try both your state and your scheme;

You cannot be right in the rest,

Unless you think rightly of him.

As Jesus appears in your view,

As he is belovèd or not;

So God is disposèd to you,

And mercy or wrath are your lot.

.

  1. Some take him a creature to be,

A man, or an angel at most;

Sure, these have not feelings like me,

Nor know themselves wretchèd and lost.

So guilty, so helpless am I,

I durst not confide in his blood,

Nor on his protection rely,

Unless I were sure he is God."

(John Newton, Pastor and former slavetrader)

  1. It was. It is revealed in hints, types, and shadows that the coming saviour would be the Son of God, Divine, God made flesh. Especially noteworthy are the following OT scriptures:-

See Genesis 3:15 - the one who will defeat Satan will be a man, but it is impossible that a mere man should be able to defeat Satan, therefore he will necessarily be both Man and Divine. Job 19:25-26; Isaiah 7:14; Isaiah 9:6; Psalm 110 - David knew the Messiah would be one of his own descendants, yet he calls Him "my Lord", knowing He would be more than just one of his descendants; Psalm 45, the whole, esp v 6 and 7 - the Messiah will be divine; Ezekiel 44:2.

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  • (1) “It was. That the coming savior would be Divine, God made flesh, is plain from the following OT scriptures” – I didn’t ask about the revelation that the Savior would be Divine or God made flesh. I was asking about the revelation that God has the Only Begotten Son. None of the verses that you have cited even contain the term “Only Begotten Son”. No doubt David knew that the coming Savior would be Divine, he even hinted at the Two of the Godhead by referring to the First and to the Second by the word “Lord”. However, he never said that – brilliant Apr 14 at 5:13
  • (2) the Second Lord was the Only Begotten Son of the First Lord. You may say that “it is easy to arrive at that by simply thinking a bit”, but that would still be quite a stretch to call it a plain revelation then. Just compare this to how many times Jesus said plainly and directly in the NT that He was the Only Begotten Son of the Father – the way Jesus revealed that has no comparison with how David had revealed that. In case with Jesus’ words, you don’t need to “think a bit” in order “to arrive” at the idea that He is the Only Begotten Son of God. – brilliant Apr 14 at 5:13
  • @brilliant - I get your point and have largely changed the post. – Andrew Shanks Apr 15 at 7:48
  • Perfect now. Thank you! – brilliant Apr 15 at 11:00
  • @brilliant - Welcome!! – Andrew Shanks Apr 15 at 13:31
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Leibniz and Clarke debated the issue of divine freedom in the 18th century, and others continue the debate. See https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/divine-freedom/

Leibniz espoused the "Principal of Sufficient Reason":

Now, by that single principle, viz. that there ought to be a sufficient reason why things should be so, and not otherwise, one may demonstrate the being of a God, and all the other parts of metaphysics or natural theology.

Clarke argued that Leibniz' definition precluded the existence of agency. No agency, no choice, no freedom. It has been the dominant belief among Christian theologians that God is free. That means within the constraints of his nature of goodness, God can do what he wants with no higher law or philosophical necessity causing or impinging on his choice.

If God chose to withhold from Israel and the rest of humanity the sure knowledge of His trinitarian nature and the future incarnation of His Son, it was His free choice. There is no why to be answered. You can argue consistency with prior actions, with goodness and truth and promises, you can show hints and clues in prophecies, but the whole of it was God's free choice.

It is the glory of God to conceal a matter;
    to search out a matter is the glory of kings. (Proverbs 25:2)

This is not an answer to "Why?", but surely God chose thereby to magnify His glory, and to those select few who understood part of what God had concealed throug their attentive study and prayer, God surely grants glory and favor.

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