Acts 13:33 KJB – “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.”
NIV (NET, Holman, ISV, Jehovah Witness NWT, Catholic New Jerusalem bible 1985) – “he has fulfilled for us, their children, buy raising UP Jesus. As it is written in the second Psalm: You are my son; TODAY I HAVE BECOME YOUR FATHER.”
NKJV – “God has fulfilled this for us their children, in that He has raised UP Jesus, As it is also written in the second Psalm: You are my Son, Today I have begotten you.”
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.”
Is this verse speaking of the Resurrection of Christ, as we see in the KJB?
Or does it speak of raising up Jesus by means of the Incarnation when He was made of a woman, as the NKJV has it?
Or was there a Day when God BECAME the Father of Jesus, and thus He is not the eternal Son, as we see in the NIV, NET, Holman, Jehovah Witness NWT and Catholic New Jerusalem bible?
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 Bible tells us that Jesus Christ is “the first begotten of the dead” (Revelation 1:5) and “the firstborn from the dead” (Colossians 1:18)
There is NO Greek text that reads like the paraphrases found in many modern versions like the NIV, NET, Holman, JW version or the Catholic New Jerusalem. All the texts here read the same. – υιος μου ει συ εγω σημερον γεγεννηκα σε = “you are my son, today I have begotten you. There is no word for “become” nor “your” and much less is there any word here for “father”.
Notice the utter silliness of a man like Dan Wallace, a professor of Greek at Dallas Theological Seminary and the main editor of the online NET version. His NET version reads this way in Acts 13:33. Then notice his ridiculous footnote. “that this promise 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.”
Footnote: Grk “I have begotten you.” The traditional translation for γεγέννηκα (gegennhka, “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.” [End of Wallace’s footnote]
Dan Wallace has completely missed the point of the verse and ends up teaching heresy. Then he tells us that “begotten” is misleading and no longer in common use. Maybe our esteemed scholar should explain this to the translators of the RSV, NRSV 1989, Amplified Bible 1987, ESV 2011, NASB 1995, NKJV 1982, Pickering N.T. 2005, New European Version 2010, Mounce N.T. 2011, Hebraic Roots Bible 2012, the Interlinear Hebrew-Greek Scriptures 2012 (Mebust), and the Biblos Interlinear 2013, The English Majority Text N.T. 2013, all of which still say “Today I have BEGOTTEN you.”
Yet Doktor Dan’s own NET version says in Proverbs 23:22 “Listen to your father who BEGOT you, and do not despise your mother when she is old.”
For a “bible” to teach that “TODAY I HAVE BECOME YOUR FATHER” means that God was not the Eternal Father of the Eternal and Everlasting Son. It teaches that there was a Day when God became His Father, and this is heresy.
God was ALWAYS His Father. You cannot be a father before you have a son. It is impossible. Even on a human level, you can be a man, and an husband when you have no children. But you only become a father when you have children. If the Father is eternal, then so is the Son.
The Bibles that read like the King James Bible in Acts 13:33 – “he hath raised up Jesus AGAIN…this day have I begotten thee” are Tyndale 1525, Miles Coverdale 1535, the Great Bible 1540, Matthew’s Bible 1549, the Bishop’s Biible 1568, the Douay-Rheims 1582, the Geneva Bible 1587, the Bill Bible 1671, Whiston’s Primitive New Testament 1745, Worsley Version 1770, the Clarke N.T. 1795, the Living Oracles 1835, Webster’s 1833, there Pickering N.T. 1840, Longman Version 1841, Hussey N.T. 1845, Hewett N.T. 1850, The Commonly Received Version 1851, The Revised N.T. 1862, Noyes Translation 1869, the Alford N.T. 1870, Dillard N.T. 1885, the Clarke N.T. 1913, the Third Millennium Bible 1998.
The simple verb “anistemi” is translated as “rise AGAIN” in places like Matthew 17:9 “the Son of man BE RISEN AGAIN from the dead”; 20:19 “the third day he SHALL RISE AGAIN”; Mark 8:31 “after three days RISE AGAIN”, 10:34 “the third day HE SHALL RISE AGAIN”, Luke 18:33 “the third day HE SHALL RISE AGAIN”, 24:7 “the third day RISE AGAIN”, John 6:39 “should RAISE IT UP AGAIN at the last day”, 11:23 “thy brother SHALL RISE AGAIN”; 11:24 “I know that HE SHALL RISE AGAIN in the resurrection at the last day.”, 20:9 “he must RISE AGAIN from the dead” and 1 Thessalonians 4:14 “if we believe that Jesus died and ROSE AGAIN”
The Noyes New Testament 1869, the modern New English Bible 1970 and the New Century version 2005 all read “by raising Jesus from the dead”.
The Living Bible 1971 says “in that God brought Jesus back to life again”, and God’s Word Translation 1995 says, “by bringing Jesus back to life.”
The New Life Version 1969 has: “He did this by raising Jesus from the dead”
The Amplified Bible 1987 – “This He has completely fulfilled for us, their children, by raising up Jesus, as it is written in the second psalm, You are My Son; today I have begotten You [ caused You to arise, to be born; formally shown You to be the Messiah BY THE RESURRECTION].”
The Names of God Bible 2011 says: “by bringing Yeshua back to life”.
The Orthodox Jewish Bible 2011 says: “having made to stand up alive again”
The New European Version 2010 – “that God has fulfilled the same to our children, in that He RESURRECTED Jesus. As also it is written in the second psalm: You are My Son, this day have I begotten you.”
The New English New Testament 1961 – “has fulfilled it for the children by RAISING JESUS FROM THE DEAD, as indeed it stands written, in the second Psalm: “You are my son; this day have I begotten you.”
Other English Bibles that say “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.” are The Word of Yah 1993, God’s First Truth 1999, The Evidence Bible 2003, The Resurrection Life New Testament 2005 (Vince Garcia) says: “for He HAS RAISED JESUS UP FROM THE DEAD. As it is also said in the second Psalm: Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.”, Concordant Version 2006, Bond Slave Version 2009, Faithful N.T. 2009, the Jubilee Bible 2010, and the Hebraic Transliteration Scripture 2010 – “Elohim (אלהים) hath fulfilled the same to us their children, in that HE hath raised up Yehoshua (יהושע) AGAIN; as it is also written in the second tehillim, you art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.”
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, Albert Barnes, Jamieson, Fausset ands Brown, Matthew Henry, Adam Clarke, B.W. Johnson, John Wesley, Matthew Poole, Bullinger 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.”
Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Whole Bible – “This day have I begotten thee – It is evident that Paul uses the expression here as implying that the Lord Jesus is called the Son of God BECAUSE HE RAISED HIM FROM THE DEAD, and that he means to imply that it was for this reason that he is so called. This interpretation of an inspired apostle fixes the meaning of this passage in the psalm, and proves that it is NOT THERE USED WITH REFERENCE TO THE DOCTRINE OF ETERNAL GENERATION, OR TO HIS INCARNATION, BUT THAT HE IS CALLED HIS SON BECAUSE HE WAS RAISED FROM THE DEAD.”
E.W. Bullinger’s Companion Bible Notes – “in that he hath . . . again = having raised up. Greek. anistemi. begotten Thee = brought Thee to the birth, i.e. IN RESURRECTION.”
Matthew Poole’s English Annotations – “by adding AGAIN, intend it to be understood of THE RESURRECTION; and there is ground for it in the context; for the resurrection of Christ is that which in Acts 13:30 is propounded by St. Paul as his theme or argument to preach upon.”
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 one of our Bible clubs, 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 read my article on Acts 13:33.
This man is actually a Bible professor at a seminary who says he knows both Hebrew and Greek, and yet he posted: “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 H…….
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 incredibly silly question “When was Jesus raised before?”, you might try reading your Bible, Sir. Even your ESV. Check out these verses – Mark 8:31; 12:23; John 11:23-24; and Hebrews 11:35. They all speak about being raised AGAIN! 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.
When the Bible speaks of Christ rising AGAIN from the dead, it does not mean that He was to be raised from the dead the second time! This should be obvious. All you need is a little common sense and a greater understanding of our own English language.
The word “again” in this context, refers to “returning to a previous condition” (alive) or simply “in addition to what has already been mentioned.”
Let’s look at some English dictionaries.
The Oxford English Dictionary – Again – “adverb 1. once more. 2. RETURNING TO A PREVIOUS POSITION OR CONDITION. 3. in addition to what has already been mentioned.
Webster’s New World College Dictionary – again – adverb
1. back in response; in return: answer again
2. BACK INTO A FORMER POSITION OR CONDITION: he is well again
3. once more; anew: try again
4. besides; further: again, we should note
5. on the other hand; from the contrary standpoint: he may, and then again he may not
Mark 8:31 “And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days RISE AGAIN.”
Not only does the King James Bible say that Jesus would RISE AGAIN but so also do the following English Bible translations: Wycliffe 1395, Tyndale 1525, Coverdale 1535, Great Bible 1540, Matthew’s Bible 1549, Bishops’s bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1599, the RV 1881, ASV 1901, RSV, NRSV, ESV 2001, NASB, NIV, NKJV, Darby, Youngs, and the brand new ISV (International Standard Version).
The phrase “rise again” clearly does not mean that He would be raised from the dead the second time, but merely that He would be raised up from the dead to the condition He was in before, that is, that of being alive.
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 of Mary or at the resurrection. He is from everlasting, with no beginning. The Son always was…but not so in the NIV.”
NIV 1984, 2011 editions – 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.”
Psalms 2:7 and Acts 13:33 refer to the day the Son was resurrected from the dead and He became “the first BEGOTTEN from the dead.”
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.” For much more on Daniel 3:25, which many modern versions have messed up as well, see my article here –
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.”
To repeat, 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 was buried, and three days later God raised Him from the dead to become “the first begotten from the dead”
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, Holman, Catholic Jerusalem bible, and Jehovah Witness New World Translation are heretical by having God say: “TODAY I HAVE BECOME YOUR FATHER”, and thus teaching that 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, who wrote – “Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way.” Psalm 119:128.
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