Text & Translations
The Syriac Peshitta, the official Syriac translation and the earliest translation of the New Testament (approximately 125 a.d.), did
refer to Jesus as the "only begotten." The Holy Bible From Ancient Manuscripts Containing the Old and New Testaments Translated
From the Peshitta, The Authorized Bible of the Church of the East, by George M. Lamsa (A. J. Holman Co: Philadelphia; 1957),
records "only begotten" in John 3:16,18; Hebrews 11:17; and I John 4:9; although "first-born" is found in John 14:14,18.
As to the Latin translation of monogenes, Thayer notes that Cicero (who died December 7, 43 a.d.) translated it unigena, while the
Vulgate and in ecclesiastical writings it is translated unigenitus. Both terms carry the idea of "only begotten."
It is noted that the more conservative translations, which made a claim to translate the words rather than the thoughts of the
scriptures, the King James Version, the American Standard Version and the New American Standard Bible, all translate mongenes as
"only begotten." To this list may also be added the New King James Version.
It is also important to note which of the translations brother McCord cites as translating monogenes as other than "only begotten:"
the Revised Standard Version, which the head of the Old Testament Translating Committee called the Bible of the liberal Protestant
community [liberal here is used as a synonym for modernistic: a denial of the supernatural; including a denial of Jesus as the
fulfillment of prophecy]; the New English Bible, which one has but to read to note the modem-ism which its advocates admit is even
less than literal in its renderings. For those who know the character of translations and the propensity of modem translations to
promote error, the appeal for vindication of the translation of a particular word to these three translations does not inspire
confidence: it sets off red lights, sirens and alarms. [The reader is referred for further studies in translations to: Introduction to the
Translation Controversy, a special edition of Speak As the Oracles, October 1987; UNITY/VERSIONS/CROSSROADS: The First
Annual Michigan Church Leaders Lectureship, edited by R. L. Ross (this book also includes a Resource List for further study in
the version issue); A Review of the New Versions, by Foy E. Wallace, Jr.; and, Challenging Dangers of Modern Versions, by
Robert R. Taylor, Jr.]