“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 NLT
The Adventist Biblical Research Institute agrees with the modern translations of “one and only” instead of “only begotten.” Hebrews 1:1-14 make it clear that Jesus was God. He was not given life, He is the life giver.
Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. John 11:25 NLT
Just as 1 John 4:8 does not tell us that God has love but rather is love, so Jesus does not say that He was given life, but rather that He is life.
In Christ is life, original, unborrowed, underived. -Ellen White, Desire of Ages, Page 530.
While Hebrews 2:1-18 explains the complete humanity of the Son of God, Hebrews 1:1-14 explains the complete divinity of the Son of God. While Jesus is God the Son, who never originated but always existed as far back as eternity goes, Ty Gibson suggests in His book, The Sonship of Christ, that while He was always God the Son, that the term “Son of God’ explains His humanity more than His divinity. For example, Adam was the first one who was called the son of God.
Adam was the son of God. Luke 3:38 NLT
Abel was born before his father only because his father was never born! Adam was created to be the son of God and to be the representative for this earth. Job 1:6 talks about when the “sons of God” came to present themselves before God. Adam was to be this earth’s representative as the son of God for this earth. However we read where Satan shows up at this meeting, as Adam surrendered this right to Satan when he sinned. So here we see Adam was the son of God and there are other sons of God representing their worlds. By the way Hebrews 1:2 mentions that Christ made the worlds. The word “worlds” refers to inhabited planets, while uninhabited planets are simply called planets. In Job 1:6 the sons of God came from these other worlds.
So in John 3:16 Where it says, “only begotten Son” or “one and only son” it is not referring to God the son ever being born. Neither is it saying that there are not other sons of God, because we have just seen that there are. So what does it mean by “one and only son?” Hebrews 11 gives us a clue.
Abraham, who had received God’s promises, was ready to sacrifice his only son, Isaac, Hebrews 11:17 NLT
Wait a minute? Was Isaac Abraham’s only son? No! So why is this saying that Isaac was Abraham’s only son?
The Scriptures say that Abraham had two sons, one from his slave wife and one from his freeborn wife. The son of the slave wife was born in a human attempt to bring about the fulfillment of God’s promise. But the son of the freeborn wife was born as God’s own fulfillment of his promise. Galatians 4:22-23 NLT
Isaac was called Abraham’s only son because Isaac was the promised son. Now we know why John 3:16 says He gave His only begotten or one and only son. It is not insinuating that God the Son was ever created or given life by the Father. Christ had life that came from being God Himself. His life was original, unborrowed and underived. The term “Only begotten” or “one and only Son” means that Jesus Christ is the promised son to redeem mankind and take the right that Adam surrendered in being the representative of the world.
Adam was the original son of God, who because of sin surrendered the right to represent this world before God. Meanwhile Satan claimed that right and in Job 1:6-11 accused the inhabitants of the earth. But Jesus, the promised One, lived a perfect life and died our death on the cross, and has now won the right to represent us before the Father. Instead of accusing us He is representing and defending us!
He entered into heaven itself to appear now before God on our behalf. Hebrews 9:24 NLT
Since Jesus Christ is the promised Son to replace Adam as our representative, not only is He representing us and defending us, saving and redeeming us, but we are also already seated in heaven with Him!
For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:6 NLT