Article: Acts 13:33 this day have I begotten thee by Will Kinney

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Acts 13:33 "This day have I begotten thee."


All bible versions do NOT teach the same things. Important doctrines are seriously affected, not only by the different texts used, but also by the ways in which the same texts are translated. Such a case is found in Acts 13:33. The King James Bible reads, "God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus AGAIN; as it is written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, THIS DAY HAVE I BEGOTTEN THEE." This verse, as it stands in the KJB, clearly refers to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, and God the Father "begetting" Him from the dead.


The versions that read as the KJB in Acts 13:33 - “he hath raised up Jesus AGAIN” are Tyndale 1525, Miles Coverdale 1535, Bishop's Biible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1602, Webster’s 1833, the Third Millenium Bible, and the 21st Century KJB. The modern New English Bible and the New Century version both read “raising Jesus from the dead”. The Living Bible says “bringing Jesus back from the dead”, and God’s Word Translation says, “by bringing Jesus back to life.”


It is of interest to see how many foreign language Bibles render the phrase "he hath raised up Jesus AGAIN". The Spanish says: "resusitándo a Jesus", the Latin - resuscitans Iesum, the French - en ressuscitant Jesus; the Portuguese - ressuscitando a Jesus, and the Italian has risuscitando Gesu. It is easy to see that they all render this verse the same way as the KJB has it - referring to the resurrection of Christ.


Commentators as well as bible versions differ radically concerning both the meaning and rendering of this passage. Among those that I believe got it right are John Gill, Matthew Henry, John Wesley, and John Calvin.


Psalm 2:7 “this day have I begotten thee”


This is a prophetic Psalm and verse 7 refers to the resurrection of Christ, when He became “the first begotten from the dead” (Revelation 1:5) and “the firstborn from the dead” (Colossians 1:18)


John Wesley comments on this passage:


"Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee - It is true, he was the Son of God from eternity. As St. Paul elsewhere, declared to be the Son of God with power, by the resurrection from the dead,(Romans 1:4) And it is with peculiar propriety and beauty that GOD IS SAID TO HAVE BEGOTTEN HIM, ON THE DAY WHEN HE RAISED HIM FROM THE DEAD, as he seemed then to be born out of the earth anew."


B.W. Johnson, People's New Testament Commentary 1891 says: Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. Paul gives the thought in Romans 1:4: "He was declared to be the Son of God with power, by the resurrection from the dead." No more to return to corruption. Never more to endure death."


Jamieson, Fausset & Brown


"God hath fulfilled the same in that he hath raised up Jesus again -- the meaning is (notwithstanding the contrary opinion of many excellent interpreters) "from the dead"; as the context plainly shows. as it is written in the second psalm this day have I begotten thee--As the apostle in Romans 1:4 regards the resurrection of Christ merely as the manifestation of a prior Sonship, it is plain that this is his meaning here. "


Adam Clarke on the meaning of Psalm 2:7-Verse 7 - Thou art my Son This day have I begotten thee. BY THE RESURRECTION thou art declared to be the Son of God, by miraculous power, being raised from the dead. Thus by thy wondrous and supernatural nativity, most extraordinary death, and miraculous resurrection, thou art declared to be the Son of God. And as in that Son dwelt all the fulness of the Godhead bodily, all the sufferings and the death of that human nature were stamped with an infinitely meritorious efficacy. WE HAVE ST. PAUL'S AUTHORITY FOR APPLYING TO THE RESURRECTION OF OUR LORD THESE WORDS, "Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee; "-see Acts 13:33; see also ; Hebrews 5:5;-and the man must indeed be a bold interpreter of the Scriptures who would give a different gloss to that of the apostle. It is well known that the words, "Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee," have been produced by many as a proof of the eternal generation of the Son of God.”


John Gill comments on Psalm 2:7 “this day have I begotten thee” - “ And this may be applied to any time and case in which Christ is declared to be the Son of God; as at his incarnation, his baptism, and transfiguration upon the mount, and HIS RESURRECTION FROM THE DEAD, AS IT IS IN ACTS 13:33 ; because then he was declared to be the Son of God with power, (Romans 1:4)"


Matthew Henry comments on Psalm 2:7 “This day have I begotten thee.” - “This day have I begotten thee, which refers both to his eternal generation itself, for it is quoted (Hebrews 1:5) to prove that he is the brightness of his Father's glory and the express image of his person (Psalms 2:3), and to the evidence and demonstration given of it BY HIS RESURRECTION FROM THE DEAD, FOR TO THAT IT IS EXPRESSLY APPLIED BY THE APOSTLE, ACTS 13:33. He hath raised up Jesus again, as it is written, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. It was by the resurrection from the dead, that sign of the prophet Jonas, which was to be the most convincing of all, that he was declared to be the Son of God with power, Romans 1:4. Christ is said to be the first-begotten and first-born from the dead, Revelation 1:5,Col+1:18.”


John Calvin comments on Psalm 2:7 “this day have I begotten thee” - “Paul, who is a more faithful and a better qualified interpreter of this prophecy, in Acts 13:33, calls our attention to the manifestation of the heavenly glory of Christ ... We must, at the same time, however, bear in mind what Paul teaches, (Romans 1:4) that he was declared to be the Son of God with power when he rose again from the dead, and THEREFORE WHAT IS HERE SAID HAS A PRINCIPAL ALLUSION TO THE DAY OF HIS RESURRECTION." The modern NKJV, NIV, and NASB versions make this verse refer to the incarnation of Jesus, rather than His resurrection by merely saying, “God has raised up Jesus”. They leave out raised up Jesus AGAIN.


Some new version defenders tell us that the word “again” is not in the Greek text. This is a misleading statement. All the versions, frequently translate the verb anistemi as "rise AGAIN". For example the NIV renders this word as “rise again” 6 times, “raised to life” once, and “raised from the dead” once. It is frequently used in the phrase that Jesus would be “raised” on the third day. The noun form of this verb is anastasis and is always used in referrence to the resurrection.


(Note added on January 1, 2010) I am constantly amazed at the dull minded blindness that afflicts so many modern version users. At our Which Version club - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/whichversion/ , one of the members who favors the modern versions and does not believe that any Bible in any language is the perfect words of God posted this reply AFTER having supposedly read this very article on Acts 13:33. This man says he reads both Hebrew and Greek and is a bible professor, yet he posts: "There is no Greek word "again" in the text, even in the TR. Often it's fairly easy to see the rationale behind the KJV translators' choices, even when one disagrees, but I am at a loss to explain this one. Not only is there no Greek adverb so to translate, but it doesn't seem to make sense in context -- when was Jesus raised before? " -N.E. Barry Hofstetter


To whom I responded: Barry, you are a constant marvel. Go back and read the article with comprehension this time. You very definitely are at a loss. As for your idiotic question "When was Jesus raised before"...! You might try reading your Bible, Sir. Even in your ESV check out these verses - Mark 8:31; 12:23; John 11:23-24; and Hebrews 11:35 You're an amazing guy, professor.


For those who are NIV users, you can likewise check out how it reads about Jesus or the dead being raised AGAIN in verses like Matthew 27:63; Mark 8:31; Luke 18:33; Luke 24:7, John 11:23-24 and 1 Thessalonians 4:14.)


Now, back to Acts 13:33. - What does the phrase, “This day have I begotten thee” mean? Jesus Christ did not become the only begotten Son at His incarnation. This false doctrine is called incarnational Sonship. He was the only begotten Son BEFORE His taking on a human body.


Dr. Douglas Stauffer, a Baptist pastor and preacher, has written a book called One Book Stands Alone, which is a good defense of the King James Bible. Regarding Acts 13:33 and its meaning, Mr. Stauffer notes on pages 24-25: KJB Acts 13:33 "God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, THIS DAY HAVE I BEGOTTEN THEE."


"When the Father said this to the Son, it was not at His birth. It was at His resurrection. He became the "first BEGOTTEN of the dead" Rev.1:5. God did not become the Lord's Father when He was born or Mary or at the resurrection. He is from everlasting, with no beginning. The Son always was...but not so in the NIV."


NIV Acts 13:33 "he has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising up Jesus. As it is written in the second Psalm: "You are my Son; TODAY I HAVE BECOME YOUR FATHER."


"The Lord Jesus Christ did not become THE SON of God at any time during His earthly life or ministry. (Psalm 2:12) The Lord Jesus Christ (God the Son) can be found throughout the Old Testament. Numerous appearances are revealed prior to His being born of Mary. A great passage in proof of this truth is located in the book of Daniel when Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego are thrown into the fiery furnace. Notice who else shows up... the ETERNAL Son of God." (Dr. Douglas Stauffer)


The orthodox doctrine that the Lord Jesus Christ was begotten before His incarnation was firmly established in 325 A.D at the council of Nicea when the church was combating the teaching of Arianism. Arianism taught that Christ was a created being; that He had an origin and was inferior to God the Father. The NIV, ESV, RSV and Jehovah's Witness versions all support the heresy of Arianism in Micah 5:2 by telling us of Christ that His "origins are from ancient times" instead of the KJB, NASB, NKJV's "whose goings forth are from everlasting."!


Here is part of the well known Nicean Creed.


I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible;


And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, begotten of his Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father; by whom all things were made;


I John 4:9, "In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him." He was the only begotten Son before He was sent into this world.


At least three different verses testify to the fact that the Son of God existed in Old Testament times. In Daniel 3:25 king Nebuchadnezzar ordered Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego cast into the fiery furnace. He then saw four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire..."and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God."


Psalms 2:12 exhorts kings and judges of the earth to be wise and "Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him."


Proverbs 30:4 asks: "Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and what is HIS SON'S name, if thou canst tell?"


"Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee."


Versions that still read "this day have I begotten thee" are the KJB, Geneva, Tyndale, NKJV, NASB, RV, ASV, RSV, NRSV, and the 2001 ESV.


The NIV, ISV ( International Standard Version) and Southern Baptist Holman Christian Standard of 2003, Daniel Wallace's NET version, and the TNIV teach heresy with their rendering of Acts 13:33 by saying, "Today I HAVE BECOME YOUR FATHER."


Daniel Wallace, of Dallas Theological Seminary, is in the process of writing his own bible version called NET (New English Translation). Dallas TS has wholeheartedly embraced the confusion of the modern versions, and a recent poll shows that most of the seminarians there no longer believe in the Inerrancy of Scripture.


Wallace's NET version reads: "God has fulfilled to us, their children, by raising Jesus, as also it is written in the second psalm, ‘You are my Son; TODAY I HAVE FATHERED YOU.’ " He then footnotes Greek “I have begotten you.” The traditional translation for gegevnnhka (“begotten”) is misleading to the modern English reader because it is no longer in common use. Today one speaks of “fathering” a child in much the same way speakers of English formerly spoke of “begetting a child.”


Wallace gives us the usual song and dance about "updating the language" so as not to mislead, and yet it never dawns on him that his "updated language" version is in fact teaching a heresy.


This teaches that there was a time when Jesus Christ was not the Son, and God was not His Father. This is the same teaching of the Jehovah's Witnesses, and their New World Translation reads exactly like that of the NIV, ISV, NET, TNIV, and Holman CSB. (And the scholars tell us the bible versions are getting better. What a pathetic joke.) The verb used here is gennao, to beget or to be born. There are no Greek words here for the NIV, ISV, HCSB's "have become" or "Father" in any Greek text on this earth.


In what sense then can Jesus be said to have been begotten on a certain day? This happened at the resurrection. Christ bore the sins of His people, and died in our place. He died physically and spiritually - Spiritually in that He was forsaken by the Father. “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Matthew 27:46.


The Lord Jesus Christ refers to Himself in Revelation 1:5 as "the FIRSTBEGOTTEN FROM THE DEAD", and in Colossians 1:18 He is called "THE FIRSTBORN FROM THE DEAD, that in all things he might have the preeminence."


I believe the NKJV and the NASB are wrong by applying Acts 13:33 to Christ's incarnation, and the NIV, ISV, NET, TNIV, HCSB, and NWT are heretical by having God say: "Today I have become your Father", thus teaching Christ was not the Son, nor God His Father before a certain day.


Proverbs 30:5-6 "EVERY WORD OF GOD IS PURE: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar." Is EVERY WORD pure in your Bible version? Do you even care one way or the other?


May our attitude toward God's word be that of king David- “Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way.” Psalm 119:128.


Will Kinney


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