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Baptismal Account in Matthew and Luke:

God Quotes Psalm 2 Over Jesus To Convey He Is Messiah




I. Overview


Long before Christmas was first celebrated under Constantine in 336 AD (link), the only other festival of the very early church besides Passover was the Celebration of God's Epiphany (divine presence) over Christ at his Baptism. It was a "very very early feast," as explained by Catholics in Want to Know the History of the Feast of the Epiphany? at this link.  Later the visit of the Magi was added. This element over time came to "overshadow... the other elements commemorated in the Epiphany." (See "Baptism of the Lord," Wikipedia.) 


Why were the Baptism events of Jesus important initially, but over time replaced by focus upon the Magi? 


Or perhaps we should ask why was the Baptism of Jesus such a big deal early in the church? Didn't the Father simply say there: "This is my son in whom I am well pleased?"


What else was said that is of any importance?


In the Hebrew Matthew of 38 AD [Blair's Chronological Tables (1856) at 153, translated to Greek in 62 AD - at page 157], there is an important variant.  It is a different baptismal account at Matthew 3:17. In that earliest version of that Matthew, God's voice is heard from heaven saying "You are my beloved Son; with You I am well pleased.’ And again, ‘Today I have begotten You.’  (Epiphanius, Panarion 30.13.7) [Wikipedia


More on this below.


This was a big deal because God is quoting Psalm 2 which addresses the Messiah (translated in English as Annointed One). In the Psalm, Yahweh says "This Day I have begotten thee." Then God promises this Son in Psalm 2 that the son will one day rule over all the kingdoms of the earth. God then commands the nations to pay homage to this royal son by saying "Kiss the son."


More on that later too.


Hence,  Yahweh from heaven by quoting this passage of Psalm 2 over Jesus at His baptism signified three traits about Jesus. The master was:


1. Messiah -- Annointed One

2. a Son of God begotten as such at the Baptism;  and

3. The eventual King of all humanity (not just Israel).


The last item means Yahweh always intended that Jesus was to include the Gentiles in the Son's kingdom. 


As we shall see below, this earliest support of the Baptismal "This Day" Language was not only in the Hebrew Matthew from 38 AD, but also was quoted as early as 70 AD by Clement. It was repeated by Justin in 165 AD. Again by Tertullian in 207 AD. It appeared again in 235 AD in the Disaschalia (The Teaching of the Apostles). It was also in the Old Latin translations from the 200s. But it did not survive in the Latin Vulgate of 405 AD which Jerome started in 382 AD.


 Below we will learn the likely reason.  


We also shall see that although orthodoxy omitted it from Matthew and Luke sometime after 383 AD in the Latin Vulgate translations from 405 AD, amazingly it is still validated by two quotes in the Epistle to the Hebrews in the present NT, including Hebrews 5:5 ("him [i.e., the Father] said to him [i.e., Jesus]: 'This day I have begotten thee, etc.'") 


Most important, this Baptismal "This day" Language is also confirmed as unquestionably still present in both the Greek Matthew and Luke as of 383 AD as a result of Augustine's correspondence with Bishop Faustus, as fully presented below.


By way of a brief summary here, as late as 383 AD Bishop Faustus could quote the Baptism "This day" Language to Augustine as present in both the Greek Matthew and Luke to disprove the "eternal son" doctrine derived from the Nicene Creed of 325 AD. That creed opens that Jesus was "born before all ages" and concludes he was "begotten not made." (See link.) Augustine had no adequate reply except to mumble that "some say" that "This Day I have begotten thee" is missing in earlier Greek codices of Luke. But he cited no examples, or where they could be found. It was just words. And he said nothing likewise about the same language in Matthew which Bishop Faustus equally relied upon.


More on that later as well.


It is thus clear both the Greek Matthew and Luke originally read at Jesus' Baptism that the Father speaks from heaven "This Day I have begotten thee." 


II. What Might Explain The Succesful Elimination in English Translations of These Words?


However, what happened to explain why the KJV does not have "this day I have begotten thee" is hard to fathom unless dogma was guiding their principles. This is explained in more depth in Manuscript Background on the Baptismal Account, but here it is most succinctly.  


There is only evidence that the Baptismal "This Day I have begotten" was in fact in the oldest Greek NT  dating from the 400s available and utilized by the KJV translators. However, instead of following it, the KJV followed the Latin Vulgate of 405 AD which omitted this language. (See the last cited article for links to academic quality proof.)


Why did the KJV ignore "this day I have begotten thee" in the oldest Greek NT even though in their hands?


To understand this, we need to go back to 1562. This is when the Codex Bezae -- the oldest known Greek NT from the 400s -- was stolen from a monestary in France. It ended up with Theodore Beza in Geneva, Switzerland. Beza was a major leader of the Calvinist Protestants who ran Geneva at the time. Sadly, this Codex Beza has a gap --  it is missing a few pages -- representing where Matthew 1:20 to 6:20 would otherwise have been. Hence, the baptismal account in Matthew is on a lost page.  (Again, this is in the last link in academic quality proof.)


However, Luke is in tact on the Codez Bezae. It shows Luke 3:22 has "this day I have begotten thee" at Jesus' Baptism. Presumably the Baptismal "This day" Language was originally also in Matthew 3:17. This makes sense, because then it would match the form of both the Greek and Latin New Testament known as of 383 AD when Bishop Faustus was using Matthew 3:17 and Luke 3:22 to defeat Augustine's claims in favor of the eternal son doctrine. 


What is a mystery -- which we propose a solution to below -- is why the KJV omits rendering it when it was present in the Codex Beza -- a part of the Textus Receptus upon which the KJV based its translation. (See link.) Otherwise, the Textus Receptus first assembled by Erasmus in the early 1500s only had two eleventh century Greek New Testaments to utilize for translation. See link. (We are never told if those versions lack "This day I have begotten thee," as we shall see later.) Unquestionably the oldest Greek text then known -- the Codex Bezae -- had the advantage over those two versions from 800 years later if they did lack this language.

Alas this Greek Codex Bezae from the 400s with "This day I have begotten thee" at Jesus' baptism was ignored by the English translators of the KJV. 


Why also did the KJV ignore the Old Latin translations that predated the Vulgate Jerome prepared about 405 AD? For the earlier Old Latin texts have the Baptismal "This day" Language in both Matt 3:17 and Luke 3:22.  


More on the Old Latin texts below -- with academic quality proof. 


We theorize that the Augustine-Faustus argument in 383 AD appears to be the crux of what explains what happened. 


Also, what is striking is how scholarship dances around this topic. There is no mention of the Baptismal "This day" language as missing in the next major surviving Greek New Testament from the 500s known as the Codex Alexandrinus.  See Manuscript Background on the Baptismal Account. What explains this silence?


Oddly, the  Codex Alexandrinus of the Greek NT has never been apparently translated into English except Mark's Gospel. Yet, the fascimiles from the British Museum online appear adequate for a scholar familiar with the Byzantine text type of Greek to be able to do so. As a result, we have apparently no scholar telling us one way or the other of the presence or absence of the Baptismal 'This day' language in the Codex Alexandrinus.


I would predict it is there too, just as in the Codez Bezae -- the oldest manuscript just a hundred years earlier.  I would further predict it is in the two 12th Century Greek NT material which the KJV translators had in their possession because no one ever says it is missing in such manuscripts. From what the KJV translators had, we only know the Latin Vulgate of 405 AD is lacking "This day I have begotten thee." 


So what explains our English Bible lacking the Baptismal "This Day" language?


It appears that the post-1562 translators did not follow the Greek of the Codex Beza -- an integral part of the Textus Receptus for a specific reason. They continued to revert to the Latin Vulgate from 405 AD which omits "This day" Language from Matthew 3:17 and Luke 3:22. The reason for a Latin version doing so would therefore be consistent with Rufinus' theory in that era that the Roman Catholic Church has authority to delete texts that would otherwise upset doctrine -- obviously Nicean-derived doctrine such as the "eternal son" doctrine.


More later on Rufinus saying such deletion is necessary as a policy to eradicate earlier views which were then deemed heresy.


However, why would the Calvinist editor of the KJV not utilize the oldest known Greek New Testament at that time - Codex Beza to correct the Latin Vulgate of 405 AD?


(Why do I say the editor was Calvinist? Because in 1604, John Rainolds -- the leader of Puritan Calvinists of England -- asked King James to commision a new Bible. The King did so. Rainolds was the main editor until he died in 1609. Was this a coincidence that Rainolds was a Calvinist? Or was it to revise the text to suit Calvinism? Well, we need to know a background on King James. One year earlier, King James' rule in 1603 was expanded to England from only Scotland where the Calvinist-Presbyterian Church was the only official church. With James' rule now expanded over England, Calvinists could make their move on the Bible in English, and make only one edition of the Bible "authorized." It became known as "The Authorized Version" to make it appear as the only one authorized to read in church. That is how the King James Bible originated.  Later, Rainolds was replaced by Miles Smith who "like Rainolds was a Calvinist." Gustavus Paine, The Learned Men (1959) at 49.)


And why would the KJV not revert at least back to the Old Latin texts and all the lacunae (quotes in commentary) to fix this error in the later Vulgate of 405 AD?


The answer comes easy.


Protestants KJV translators would choose Latin over Greek texts on this verse because the earlier Greek disturbs the "eternal son" doctrine. Even more so this is true for Calvinists such as the KJV primary editor who was Calvinist. Why so? Because in 1553, Servetus was executed at Geneva upon Calvin's legal complaint (as he confessed later drafting) based principally upon Servetus denying Jesus was the "eternal son of God." See "Servetus & Calvin," Knol Encyclopedia (Google).


The "eternal son" doctrine is thus not only a firm fixture of Roman Catholicism after Nicea, but also of Calvinist Protestantism. In this doctrine, the belief is that Jesus is  "the second person of the Triune God [who] has eternally existed as the Son... [as] affirmed in the Nicene Creed." (GotQuestions.) See also the Nicene Creed (Jesus was "begotten before all ages" but also "begotten not made" at this link.


When Servetus was killed for his denial that an "eternal son" makes any logical sense, the Protestant recovery of Codex Beza in 1562 was ten years in the future. Thus, when it arrived at Beza's Geneva in 1562, and this passage shockingly vindicated Servetus's view of 1553, one can well-imagine that Beza would not spread this "good" news. Nor would the Calvinist Editor in Chief of the KJV wish to include a verse which would embarass Calvin's memory. "Better to use the latest Latin Vulgate," would be the response one would anticipate from that party.  

III. Confessed Pious Frauds to Protect New Orthodoxy


What explains why after 383 AD, the Latin Vulgate in 405 AD started to omit "This Day I have begotten thee" despite its presence in the earlier Old Latin texts?


Evidently because these words were contrary to the "eternal son" doctrine that Augustine in 383 AD could not otherwise successfully dispute. 


Thus, a vigorous counter-response was necessary. In that era, Roman Catholic authorities of orthodoxy shamelessly admitted elsewhere eliminating portions of a text they were translating which were "discordant"  to "our ears" (see e.g., Rufinus' debate with Jerome). 


Rufinus (died 411 AD) -- the main translator of Greek to Latin of Christian texts of prior eras -- boasted in his introduction to Origen's writings that he "deleted" portions of Origen's words in translation to Latin because they are "discordant" to our "ears" -- meaning the present orthodoxy.  See link.


Incidentally, such Latin translations by Rufinus and other Catholic translators were the kiss of death to any retention of any Greek earlier texts. Origen's Greek writings -- a staggering large amount of material -- are entirely 'lost.' His original Greek only survives if someone quoted him in Greek. See link.


So if any Greek text of the NT appears later than 325 AD -- the year of the Nicean council -- without "this day I have begotten" thee, who can  doubt this negation of the "eternal son" doctrine" would be "ripped out" by means of "deleting" whatever is "discordant" to our "ears," as Rufinus put it?    


And there is a commonality of the reason for such self-confessed "pious frauds." It always centers on the trinity doctrine, or the related "eternal son" doctrine.


At least since 383 AD (if not before), Roman Catholic "translators" appeared to do whatever was necessary to protect the Nicene Creed of 325 AD that claims Jesus was "begotten before all ages" but also was "begotten not made." (See Nicene Creed at this link.)


For example, Sir Isaac Newton -- one of the greatest Christians and minds of all time -- detected such measures, and called them "pious frauds."  He exposed Roman Catholic authorities committed such frauds to advance the trinity at 1 Tim. 3:16 (see this link) and at 1 John 3:7  (see this link.)


IV. The Baptism of Jesus in the Hebrew Version of Matthew.


So what did the Hebrew version of Matthew say on this point -- the original version of our Gospel of Matthew?

This Matthew, Jerome later explained, was written in Hebrew and translated into Greek. Jerome in 393 AD explained the Ebionites-Nazarenes claimed they still maintained custody of that original copy from Matthew in a library at Caesarea. He spent a long period with them translating the Hebrew Matthew into Greek and Latin. Alas, those works too are now "lost." See "Hebrew Matthew" Knol Encyclopedia.


Epiphanius recorded near 375 AD that this original Hebrew Matthew had God speak from heaven at the baptism "today I have begotten thee."

After saying many things, this Gospel [of Matthew to the Hebrews] continues: “After the people were baptized, Jesus also came and was baptized by John. And as Jesus came up from the water, Heaven was opened, and He saw the Holy Spirit descend in the form of a dove and enter into Him. And a voice from Heaven said, ‘You are my beloved Son; with You I am well pleased.’ And again, ‘Today I have begotten You.’ “Immediately a great light shone around the place; and John, seeing it, said to Him, ‘Who are you, Lord? And again a voice from Heaven said, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.’ Then John, falling down before Him, said, ‘I beseech You, Lord, baptize me!’ But He forbade him saying, ‘Let it be so; for thus it is fitting that all things be fulfilled.’” (Epiphanius, Panarion 30.13.7) [Wikipedia]


Jerome apparently tried to keep the original Hebrew Matthew in this passage, but toned down  Epiphanius who included  "This day I have begotten thee." Jerome modified this somewhat to appear as  "You are my first begotten son." Here is Jerome's version, worded carefully to guard against negating the "eternal son" doctrine

In the Gospel written in the Hebrew script that the Nazarenes read, the whole fount of the Holy Spirit descends upon Him, for God is Spirit and where the Spirit resides, there is freedom. Further in the Gospel which we have just mentioned we find the following written: “When the Lord came up out of the water the whole fount of the Holy Spirit descended upon Him and rested on Him saying, ‘My Son, in all the prophets was I waiting for You that You should come and I might rest in You. For You are My rest. You are My first begotten Son that prevails forever.’” (Jerome, Commentary on Isaiah 4) [Wikipedia


It is sad that the corrupting influence of strict trinitarianism of that age would apparently let Jerome modify what Epiphanius witnessed with his own eyes, and erase the most key part of the passage: Yahweh quotes Psalm 2. This deleted language was the same as God saying Jesus is Messiah and Son of God -- our future king. Protecting the trinity doctrine, and its "eternal son" doctrine, left Christians without understanding why Jesus told Peter in Matthew 16:16  that he correctly said Jesus was "Messiah and Son of God." Peter was lifting that from a Psalm 2 concept of Jesus. However,  we are left in the dark because the verses to tell us this in both Matthew and Luke were suppressed in the Latin Vulgate of 405  AD by Jerome himself. They were likewise ignored in 1611 by the KJV when it had the chance to fix this when the Codex Bezae was taken from a monestary in 1562.


But this passage let's us recognize that whenever the trinity doctrine, and its eternal son offspring doctrine, were threatened, texts were re-written or deleted or lost.


As God speaks about in Jeremiah 8:8 of similar moves in an age past: 


"How do you say we are wise, and the Law of Yahweh is with us. But behold, the false pen of the scribes has worked falsely." (World Englsh Bible.)

IV. Historical Evidence That "This Day I have begotten thee" is Correct


A. Old Mss. of Matthew

The baptismal account with “this day I have begotten thee” appears in "the Old Latin" Bibles meaning  pre-382 AD. Jerome was engaged by the pope in 382 AD to replace them with a new Latin Bible. It was issued for the first time in 405 AD. (E.B. Nicholson, The Gospel according to the Hebrews (1879) at 40.)


Jesus as young man

B. Luke 3:22 In Old Manuscripts

The baptismal account of Jesus in Luke 3:22 in old manuscripts likewise had this account that the Father spoke from heaven to Jesus: "This day I have begotten you."

Also, in "Codex Bezae and most of the old Latin manuscripts...the voice instead cites Psalm 2:7: 'This day I have begotten thee." (Barbara Aland, Joël Delobel, New Testament textual criticism, exegesis, and early church history (Peeters, 1994) at 120 (article by B. Ehrman, referencing Luke 3:22.)

A modern study Bible comments on Luke 3:22: "Other ancient authorities read You are my Son, today I have begotten you." (Wayne A. Meeks, Jouette M. Bassler, The HarperCollins Study Bible: New Revised Standard Version (HarperCollins: 1997) at 1962.)

The New American commentary reads: “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased: this is the best attested [i.e., most numerous] reading in the Greek manuscripts. The Western reading, ‘You are my Son, this day I have begotten you,’ is derived from Psalm 2:7.” http://www.usccb.org/nab/bible/luke/luke3.htm (last accessed 2005.)

This reference to a "Western" text that reads "begotten thee" is because it appears in the Greek Western type text known as Codex D also known as Codez Bezae. It dates from the 400s. It is called Codex Beza because after being stolen in 1562 from a monastic library in Lyons, France, it was given to the Calvinist scholar Beza who gave it to a library in 1581



C. Augustine Could Not Win Eternal Son Argument in 383 AD Due to Manuscript Evidence

This revised text only appears in Latin after Bishop Faustus of Mileve in a scholarly exchange with Augustine in 383 AD quoted from both Matthew and Luke to shred the "eternal" son of God doctrine. That doctrine was derived from the Nicene Creed statement that Jesus was "begotten not made" -- to be understood to mean an eternal son. 


The Faustus-Augustine exchange appears in Schaff’s AugustinThe Writings Against the Manicheans and Against the Donatists (1890)(CCEL 2020) Book XXIII at 313.


Faustus said to Augustine -- beginning first as to Matthew:


"The Catholic doctrine is well-known, and it is as unlike Matthew's representation as it is unlike the truth." Id., Para. 2. "It is what Matthew says, if Matthew is the real author. The words 'Thou art my Son, this day I have begotten thee' ... is what is written; and if you believe this doctrine, you must be called a Matthean, for you will no longer be a Catholic....As for you, your only alternative is to deny that those statements were made, as they appear to be by Matthew, or to allow that you have abandoned the faith of the apostles." " Id. Para. 2.


As to Luke, Faustus quotes Luke too saying the same:


"when about thirty-years old, according to Luke, when also the voice was heard saying to him: 'Thou art my son, this Day I have begotten thee." Id.


Obviously, both passages as existed at the time of Faustus were erased as a result of Augustine's debate. Augustine implicitly conceded no present manuscript of which he personally knew did not support Faustus.  Instead, Augustine could only claim that some "say" that there are earlier Greek codices that lack the language in Luke. However, Augustine did not say he saw them, or knew of them as a fact; he only alluded to some unidentified person(s) "say" there are versions of Luke missing these statements. Augustine never said anything to support likewise there is any one who "says" some Greek manuscripts of Matthew lack this Baptismal "This day" language. Most of Augustine's rebuttal was to conflate the issue with the validity of the virgin birth account, as if that addressed the same issue. 


More on that below in sub-part D.

Thus, these two passages from Matthew and Luke with "this day I have begotten thee" were removed in Latin after the 383 AD dispute between Faustus and Augustine. This was to allow the church to prevent these passages to be further cited to negate emerging doctrine that Christ was an eternal son, i.e., derived from the Nicene Creed of 325 AD that spoke of a son "begotten not made." This was deduced to mean Jesus was an immortal being equal to God from all eternity -- an eternal companion of Father God.


D Augustine Responds Feebly That Some "say" some Manuscripts Only Might Not Contain 'This day I have begotten thee'


Throckmorton in Gospel Parallels (1992) at 14 [PDF of page 14] lists some of the sources for "This day I have begotten thee." He lists - "D [Codex Beza from 400s] it[alic aka pre-382 Latin], Justin [died 165 AD], Clement [written pre-70 AD; died 99 AD - more below], Origen [died 253 AD], Augustine, Gospel of the Ebionites [aka the Hebrew Matthew]."


Throckmorton overlooked Tertullian in 207 AD. 


Tertullian in a passage where he mocksd any idea that Jesus as the Son was simultaneously also God uses this language "This day I have begotten thee" so as to refute Jesus is God. (Bishop Faustus made the same point with Augustine in 383 AD, but more on that later.) Here is cogent reasoning so easily forgotten:

I bid you also observe, that on my side I advance the passage where the Father said to the Son, 'Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten Thee.' If you want me to believe Him to be both the Father and the Son [i.e., simultaneously two persons but each is God] show me some other passage where it is declared, 'The Lord said unto Himself, I am my own Son, to-day have I begotten myself;' or again, 'Before the morning did I beget myself;' and likewise, 'I the Lord possessed Myself in the beginning of my ways for my own works; before all the hills, too, did I beget myself;' and whatever other passages are to the same effect. Why, moreover, could God the Lord of all things, have hesitated to speak thus of Himself, if the fact had been so? (Tertullian, Latin Christianity (Scaff ed.) Ch. XI.)


We will explore below these early quotes of Justin, Clement and Origen.


But why does Throckmorton mention Augustine?


First, because Augustine in 383 AD acknowledges to Festus in a mutual correspondence that "this day I have begotten thee" is present in "some codices."


Second, Throckmorton recognizes Augustine did not in fact prove to Festus it was missing in any Greek present or earlier text. Instead, in the correspondence with Festus, Augustine simply says instead "it is SAID not to be found in the more ancient Greek codices..." of Luke.


However, Augustine does not say he knows of any ancient Greek codex of Luke that is lacking "this day I have begotten thee." Instead of proof, he offers an unattributed claim that some 'say' it is not in SOME earlier Greek codices of Luke. Augustine offered no scholarly verification of which he was certainly capable of easily checking at Rome. The entire quote is worth reading. 


Augustine in In De Cons. Evang. 2,31 writes to Festus:

But once more, with respect to that rendering which is contained in some codices of the Gospel according to Luke, and which bears that the words heard in the heavenly voice were those that are written in the Psalm, "Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten Thee" [Ps 2:7]; although it is said not to be found in the more ancient Greek codices, yet if it can be established by any copies worthy of credit, what results but that we suppose both voices to have been heard from heaven, in one or other verbal order?


The full Latin and English translation of this quote comes from Wieland Willker, A Textual Commentary on the Greek Gospels Vol. 3 Luke (Bremen: 2015) at Luke 3:22. Willker made the entire PDF available free online.


This actual quote from Augustine destroys claims such as those by Wasserman. He tries to criticize Bart Ehrman, saying "Ehrman does not mention the important remark by Augustine that the most ancient Greek MSS do not attest to the second reading," i.e., "this day I have begotten thee." (Tommy Wasserman, Ph.D., “Misquoting Manuscripts? – The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture Revisited,” The Making of Christianity: Conflicts, Contacts, and Constructions. (Ed. Magnus Zetterholm och Samuel Byrskog) (ConBNTS 47. Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 2012) pp. 325-50, at 335.)


But Wasserman clearly overstates what Augustine said. Rather, Augustine's actual words say that supposedly even "some" Greek codices are "said" to lack the language in Luke -- but certainly it had not been verified by Augustine despite his abundant access to those earlier codices.


Thus, Augustine's actual language strengthens the case that "this Day I have begotten thee" is original. Wasserman's exaggeration tries to provide the missing assertion that would be the minimally necessary rebuttal to take Augustine's assertion seriously.  That is, to accept Augustine's position, he must have said "I reviewed earlier codices, and I found one at the library of ____ that lacks the language," and "its custodians date it to _____." None of that appears. 


At the same time, Augustine was strongly motivated to destroy the anti-Trinitarian position of Festus who exploited this verse being still present in Matthew and Luke in a respected edition as of 383 AD. So Augustine obviously had researched the earlier codices, and he could not affirm any had omitted "This day I have begotten thee." The best he could do is make a non-descript claim that some say it is omitted in some earlier Greek codices of Luke. This confirms that the respected text  as of Augustine's day, upon which Festus relied, said in Luke as well as Matthew "This Day I have begotten thee."


At least Wasserman is wrong that Augustine says that "most ancient Greek MSS do not attest" to the "this day I have begotten thee." That is clearly an incorrect synopsis of Augustine's actual words.


The truth is that Augustine was routed by Festus. Augustine resorted to bottom-of-the barrell proof, ineffectually trying to conjure doubt without any proof when it was certainly available to him had there been any such earlier codex that lacked "this Day I have begotten thee." 


E. Ehrman's Weighing of NT Manuscripts


Ehrman in Orthodox Corruption of Scripture (Oxford U.

Press, 1996) at 62-63 says even though "this day I have

begotten thee" is not in P4 [only a Lucan gospel] estimated to be from the

third century [but also to the fourth century], the

evidence before and through the D manuscript [Codex Beza from the

300s] supports strongly that the

correct original of Luke says "This Day I have

begotten thee."


In the same manner, in 2003 Ehrman commented again on this

variant in Lost Christianities (2003) at 223, pointing out that

this alteration proved “remarkably successful,” even though

“the text is found in virtually all our oldest witnesses....”


Others list for Luke 3:22's reading "This day have I begotten thee" the



Bezae Cantabrigiensis [i.e., Codex Beza], some Italic [pre-382 AD Latin], Justin Martyr [died 165 AD] Dialogue with Trypho ch.88 p.244; Hilary, Methodius ("Early Manuscripts of Luke," Biblequery.com.) 


The Codex Bezae dates to the 400s, and it has "this day I have begotten thee." See George Huntston Williams, Radical Reformation (3d Edition.) (Truman State University, 1995) at 452 fn. 42 (“Thou art my son, this day I have begotten thee,’ a wording that survives in the Codex Bezae for Lk. 3:22.”) The portion of Matthew 3:17 in Codex Bezae -- the Baptismal Account -- is entirely lost because pages covering Matthew 1:20 to 6:20 are entirely gone.


Ehrman says it is also in [1] the Didaschalia [circa 230 AD [2] Tyconius [died 390 AD], and [3] Augustine -- all also have "this day I have begotten thee." Ehrman says the only earlier exception is the P4 manuscript of Luke's gospel. This is insufficient, he says, to prevail over the overwhelming weight of sources prior to P4 and the many after P4. (Ehrman, Orthodox Corruption, supra, at 62-63.)


F. The NT "Epistle to the Hebrews"


The original baptism language of "this day I have begotten thee" is quoted in the NT in the Epistle to the Hebrews 1:5 and 5:5. Each quote refers to the Father speaking these words, rather than the Psalmist being directly quoted:


For unto which of the angels said he [i.e., implying  Father God said to Jesus] at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? (Heb. 1:5, KJV)

So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he [i.e., God] that said unto him [i.e., Christ] Thou art my Son, today have I begotten thee. (Heb. 5:5, KJV)


Each says the Father said this to Jesus, not the Psalmist was talking, evidently aware of the original reading in both Gospels.


(A). These Hebrews passages Are Dismissed As Heretical Adoptionism


These passages in Hebrews are sometimes said to convey the "adoptionist" view of Jesus. By such a label, if you know the history of alleged heresies, this means they are being dismissed as heresy. This is done despite adoption is not even implied. Rather, Psalm 2 relates God from Heaven saying "this day I have begotten thee" which is an express creation of the son by a birth!  It is one of the silliest alleged heresies ever.


This smear label obviously was devised to block attention to the seriousness of the forgery of removing the Psalm2-Baptismal language from Matthew and Luke.  See the summary "Adoptionism" Wikipedia. This article says adoptionism is injecting the false idea of a "low Christology" that God simpy "adopted" Jesus as Son at His baptism. 

However, this insinuation is false itself. Instead God is quoted saying at the Baptism that He gave birth to Jesus as His Son. There is no adoption at all. However,  no one ever mentions this flaw.


Let's dig a little deeper on how preposterous 'adoption' is as a label.


Interestingly, anti-adoptionists acknowledge they are merely inferring adoption is intended by the words "This Day I have begotten thee" by claiming it sounds like something which Rashi talks about in the Babylonian Talmud Sanhedrin 19b. Some claim Rashi says or implies that Scripture says adoption is "as though he [i.e., the adopter] had begotten him." See "Adoption in Judaism," Wikipedia.


However, Rashi in fact does not say that. What Rashi says is that one who teaches Torah to a friend's son is "considered as if he fathered him." See "Torah Students Become The Children of their Teacher," The Jewish News of Northern California (2002).  There is no sense of adoption in Rashi's words. There is a begetting in the truest sense, but spiritual, not physical. But it is not adoption.


Moreover would the Psalmist have meant in Psalm 2 someone is adopting a child? Absolutely not!


Under the Law of Moses, there is NO SUCH THING AS ADOPTION. See "Adoption in Judaism," Wikipedia. "Adoption does not exist in formal practice in Jewish law." (Id.) 


Yet, regardless, the actual language of Psalm 2 in Matthew and Luke would be an equally high Christology as any other. However, it is derided as low in comparison to the extreme but preferred trinitarian concept. This smearing of this verse by trinitarian Christians is for the lowly purpose of causing the uninformed to be unconcerned about a serious  corruption of Holy Scripture that undermines a key aspect of who Jesus is: The Son of God and Messiah depicted in Psalm 2.  


Even so, orthodoxy about an "eternal son" appears to have won out by means of the Vulgate of 405 AD and the KJV even though it means we leave Matthew and Luke in an unjustifiable disrepair. We are told we can  just dismiss the significance of the very same words in the Epistle to the Hebrews which it says the Father spoke to Jesus.


Regardless of all the foregoing, for purposes of reconstructing the original Mathew and Luke, it still remains significant that the Epistle to the Hebrews' writer in the NT is talking about these passages in Matthew and Luke. The writer is not talking about what the Psalmist says, but instead about what God said to Jesus.

G. Why is Psalm 2 Important?

Most importantly, Psalm 2 is crucial to understanding who is Jesus.


It is one of the only two references to a prophesied Messiah in the Original Covenant writings also known as the Tanak. One is in Daniel 9:24-27. The other is Psalm 2.


This short psalm talks about an "anointed one" (Messiah) who is a begotten  Son of God. Is this Jesus? Obviously so.


Psalm 2 talks about a unique Son of God whom will serve as the judge of humankind as its king. The Psalm requires we kiss this "son of God," lest he be angry. This is reference to homage owed toward this king.


This passage and the Daniel passage is why John said that he wrote his gospel so we believe that Jesus is "Messiah and Son of God." (John 20:31.) It alludes back to Psalm 2 and Daniel 9:24-28, but most clearly to Psalm 2.

This Psalm is also why Peter answers Jesus' question "who do you say I am," with the response: "Messiah and Son of God" (Matt 16:16). Both titles only appear together in Psalm 2 about the same person. It is obviously a prophecy about Jesus.  Yahweh from Heaven said this to call to mind Psalm 2 to make certain we understood what Jesus represents. 


H. Psalm 2 Confirmed In The Dead Sea Scrolls


The Dead Sea Scrolls' Bible translates scroll fragments found in 1947 that date to around 200 BC. It covers the first eight verses which survived the centuries in the sand. The other verses crumbled away.


Abegg reconstructed those eight verses at page 512 of The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible (1999). (This is from Scroll 11Q7 Psalms -- sadly a highly fragmentary text -- see photographs, but more on that in a moment.) It reads very comparable to how it reads today. Here is the pertinent part:


 [N]ations [Gentiles] conspire ... in vain and [they] counsel together against [YHWH] and against his annointed [massiyah].... [YHWH] will speak to them in his wrath, ...as follows: "But I have installed my king upon Zion, my holy mountain." I will make known [YHWH's decree] He said to me: [You are] my [son; today I have begotten thee you;  Ask of m]e and [I will surely make the nations your inheritance, and the very ends of the earth your possession]."  

 (For the full 8 verses, see link of screen capture.) 

Incidentally, because the Psalmist is declaring a "decree" Yahweh gave him, rather than a promise to the Psalmist himself, Jewish Rabbis understood that this was a promise  directed at the Messiah when he would be revealed. See Talmud Sukha 52 inProblems of Bible Translation (1954) at page 145 (PDF link).


The Dead Sea Scrolls has another scroll covering Psalm 2 -- Scroll 3Q2. It covers verses 6 through 8 fully intact which at this site is translated: 

6 “Yet I have set my King on my holy hill of Zion.”

7 I will tell of the decree.

Yahweh said to me, “You are my son.

Today I have become your father."


The bolded words are also the same words that this translator could have rendered "You are my son, this day I have begotten you." See Dead Sea Scrolls Bible Translations - Psalm 2.


Thus, even with just those eight verses, we learn this is Yahweh addressing the Messiah and the Son of God reflected by it saying "This day I have begotten thee." This person is also to be the king of humanity. 

Thus all the material elements are present. All that we

are missing due to the badly fragmented nature of

these scraps which is significant -- is the closing --

Psalm 2:12 NIV: 

Kiss his son, or he will be angry

    and your way will lead to your destruction,

for his wrath can flare up in a moment.

    Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

Incidentally, modern Jewish translations render "Son" -- bar - in Psalm 2:12 as "purifiy" and thereby "kiss the son" becomes in their English version "yearn for purity" or similar renderings.


However, the truly better translation is "kiss the son." It requires one to know that a non-Hebrew word "bar" -- Aramaic for son -- is used in 2:12 to mean "son", just as the Aramaic "bar" is in Proverbs 31:2, and  means "son" as even Jewish texts translate it that way as it means "son of my womb."  The reason is well explained at this webpage: "Kissing the Son or Doing Homage to Purity in Psalm 2:12," KJVToday.com.  


I. Psalm 2 "This Day" Quoted In Acts About Jesus

In the book of Acts, a reference is made to the Psalmist saying these same words, and it is applied to Jesus: 


“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.” (Acts 13:33 KJV.)


There is obviously nothing low about this Christology at all except in the eyes of corrupting trinitarians who thought God let them down in Psalm 2 talking of a Son who could not be God because he was not eternally begotten in the unbegotten past, but at a specific time: at Jesus' Baptism. They made up the phoney "adoptionism heresy" - late in time.


I have experienced first hand whenever you tell any churchman today about this corruption, they throw back at you this variant reflects the alleged heresy of "adoptionism."


So by dint of training, the churchmen of today continue to close off a truth -- a fundamental truth -- that Psalm 2 is about the Messiah and Son of God, and points to the birth of the Son as a Son, and not an adoption anyway.


J. Christian Commentary Sources 95-325 AD Repititiously Quote 'this day I have begotten thee'


There is no doubt how the original baptism-of-Jesus once read to include the quote from Psalm 2:7. As quoted at length below, the original version is quoted numerous times in the following early Christian commentaries written between pre-70 A.D. and 325 A.D.:

  • First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians [pre-70 AD];
  • Dialogue of Justin with Tryphon, A Jew;
  • The Instructor;
  • The Banquet of the Ten Virgins; and
  • Concerning Chastity; and
  • Acts of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul.


This is not in date order.

160 AD,  [Not the same as "Pope" Clement who died 99 AD. See below.]

First, the original baptism-of-Jesus account is quoted in Book One, Chapter VI of The Instructor, a work of 160 A.D. by Clement of Alexandria: “For at the moment of the Lord’s baptism there sounded a voice from heaven, as a testimony to the Beloved, ‘Thou art My beloved Son, to-day have I begotten Thee.’” “Ante-Nicene Fathers/Volume II/CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA/The Instructor/Book I/Chapter VI,” at wikisource 

Alternatively see also, Clement of A., Christ, the Educator, Fathers of the Church (CUA 2010) Vol. 23 at page 25 ("When the Lord was baptized, a voice loudly sounded from heaven, as a witness to him who was beloved, 'Thou art my beloved son, this Day I have begotten thee.")

300 AD, Methodius

Methodius (A.D. 260-312), in Part 9, chapter IX in his work, The Banquet of the Ten Virgins; or, Concerning Chastity, is similarly quoting the original baptism-of-Jesus account when we read: “Now, in perfect agreement and correspondence with what has been said, seems to be this which was spoken by the Father from above to Christ when He came to be baptized in the water of the Jordan, ‘Thou art my son: this day have I begotten thee.’” “Ante-Nicene Fathers/Volume VI/Methodius/Banquet of the Ten Virgins/Thekla/Part 9,” wikisource (Schaff)

300 AD, Lactantius

Again, in the words of Lactantius (A.D. 260-330), in his The Divine Institutes, book IV, chapter XV, he quotes the original uncorrupted version of the baptism-of-Jesus account: “Then a voice from heaven was heard: ‘Thou art my Son, today have I begotten Thee.’ Which voice is found to have been foretold by David. And the Spirit of God descended upon Him, formed after the appearance of a white dove.” Ante-Nicene Fathers/Volume VII/Lactantius/The Divine Institutes/Book IV/Chap. XV,” wikisource (from Schaff).

234 AD, Acts of...Peter and Paul

In the Acts of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul (234 A.D.), it says: “Him therefore to whom the Father said, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten Thee, the chief priests through envy crucified.” .“Ante-Nicene Fathers/Volume VIII/Apocrypha of the New Testament/Acts of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul/Acts of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul,” wikisource


230 AD (est.), Origen


In Origen’s Commentary on the Gospel of John, section 32, Origen (died 254) writes: “None of these testimonies, however, sets forth distinctly the Savior’s exalted birth; but when the words are addressed to Him, ‘Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee,’ this is spoken to Him by God.” (Early Christian Writings)


Clement - Epistle Composed pre-70 AD


In the First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians, XXXVI, written by Clement—a man who was a direct disciple of the Apostle Peter—it says: “But concerning His Son the Lord [Yahweh] spoke thus: ‘Thou art my Son, to-day have I begotten Thee.’”  (Ante-Nicene Fathers Vol. 1 at 15.)


Because this epistle mentions the sacrifices were still ongoing at Jerusalem, this epistle dates to pre-70 AD. For in 70 AD, the Temple at Jerusalem was destroyed by the Roman armies, ending the sacrifices from then until today. In 17:14-22, Clement affirms that we must continue our offerings and sacrifice, and mentions this is not done everywhere except at Jerusalem. Hence, the date of this letter's composition must be pre-70 AD. See "First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians," Wikipedia ("internal evidence composed prior to 70 AD.")


165 AD, Justin


Lastly, in a writing by Justin (died 165 A.D.) known as the Dialogue of Justin with Tryphon, A Jew, in chapter LXXXVIII, Justin writes about Jesus, clearly referencing the Gospels’ baptism accounts:


He was in the habit of working as a carpenter when among men, making ploughs and yokes; by which He taught the symbols of righteousness and an active life; but then the Holy Ghost, and for man’s sake, as I formerly stated, lighted on Him in the form of a dove, and there came at the same instant from the heavens a voice, which was uttered also by David when he spoke, personating Christ, what the Father would say to Him: ‘Thou art My Son: this day have I begotten Thee.’ (Justin, Trypho)


Justin then goes on to explain in Trypho the Jew—once more obviously quoting the original form of Matthew 3:17 and Luke 3:22:


For this devil, when [Jesus] went up from the river Jordan, at the time when the voice spake to Him, “Thou art my Son: this day have I begotten Thee,” is recorded in the memoirs of the apostles to have come to Him and tempted Him, even so far as to say to Him, “Worship me;” and Christ answered him, “Get thee behind me, Satan: thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.” Id., ch. CII.


Other Christian writers predating 400AD who found the same passage in Matthew are


[1] Juvencus, Evangeliorum Libri Quattor, I 360-64 [circa 330 AD]; and

[2] Hilary, De Trinitate, VIII, 25, Tyconius, Reg. 1 [written in 360 AD




K. Christians Quote Matthew and Luke Against Church Orthodox Views But Quote Accepted As Fact From Luke


Similarly, as discussed above in some depth already, the phrase ‘this day I have begotten thee’ was quoted by the Bishop of the Christian sect of Manicheans -- one Faustus of Mileve -- in 383 AD from both Matthew and Luke’s Gospel as having been uttered at Jesus’ baptism. Faustus was made later to appear unorthodox as this verse would  be removed from Matthew's Gospel post Nicea.  Yet, Faustus held on to the view that Jesus was not born Son of God but became Son of God at his baptism.


(Manicheans are regarded as a Christian heretical sect which added to Jesus' teachings that Christians supposedly should also follow the teachings of an alleged later "Apostle of Light" named Mani. See Manichaenism, Encyclopedia Brittanica.)  


This original truth also ran afoul of the late doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church that Jesus was the 'eternal' Son of God, which doctrine emerged at Nicea in 325 AD under Emperor Constantine's influence. (His goal was to alter Jesus to match Constantine's favored deity - Sol Invictus, a Son of his father God, Horus. See our article "Council of Nicea.")


Augustine in his point-by-point rebuttal in 383 A.D. does not dispute this is how Matthew read. Augustine juggles in a paragraph quoting Matthew saying the Father says "my Son in whom I am well pleased," but never denying the portion quoted by Festus -- "This day I have begotten thee" is present.

In 383 AD approximately, Augustine disputes only how Luke may have read in some earlier codex, but not attesting he knew this to be the case. See section D above. (Remember, however, the Hebrew Matthew originally had the 'This day I have begotten thee" at Jesus' baptism. See above.)


We find this Faustus-Augustine exchange in Schaff’s Augustin: The Writings Against the Manicheans and Against the Donatists, in Book XXIII (1890) at 313. Schaff recounts Faustus’ points about the Matthew passage when read in light of Luke:


Faustus recurs to the genealogical difficulty and insists that even according to Matthew Jesus was not Son of God until His baptism. Augustin sets forth the Catholic view of the relation of the divine and the human in the person of Christ. So this quote begins with Faustus citing how Matthew and Luke read in 400 AD [sic: 383 AD] -- at least in the Greek versions Faustus had access to:

[Faustus wrote]

2. I will, for the present, suppose that this person was right in saying that the son of David was born of Mary. It still remains true, that in this whole passage of the generation no mention is made of the Son of God till we come to the baptism; so that it is an injurious misrepresentation on your part to speak of this writer as making the Son of God the inmate of a womb. The writer, indeed, seems to cry out against such an idea, and in the very title of his book to clear himself of such blasphemy, asserting that the person whose birth he describes is the son of David, not the Son of God. And if you attend to the writer’s meaning [i.e., Matthew's meaning] and purpose, you will see that what he wishes us to believe of Jesus the Son of God is not so much that He was born of Mary, as that He became the Son of God by baptism at the river Jordan. He [i.e., Matthew] tells us that the person of whom he spoke at the outset as the son of David was baptized by John, and became the Son of God on this particular occasion, when about thirty years old, according to Luke, when also the voice was heard saying to Him, “Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten Thee.”


Schaff provides Augustine’s complete reply. Id., at 318 et seq. Augustine insinuates but does not state Matthew on,y contains "son in whom I am well pleased" and nothing more.  (The Hebrew Matthew quoted by Epiphanius has both, so Augustine's reference is an attempt to mislead.) Augustine thus did not directly dispute how Matthew read, as apparently that had not yet been altered. Augustine quotes Matthew back at Faustus: “when He was baptized by John, a voice from heaven, saying, ‘This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’” Augustine does not say the words at issue are missing but seems to suggest we should assume so. Instead, Augustine focuses upon these words about a "beloved son" and says they do not “imply that He was not the Son of God before.” Id., at 315. True enough. But that is not a real answer, is it? Are these different words Festus relies upon -- "This Day I have begotten thee" -  missing?  That is the question. Augustine is silent.


Augustine then completely ignores the quote from Luke which equally made Faustus’ case despite what we can now see was possibly a deliberate change in Matthew that Augustine was already contemplating as necessary to defeat  the late 'eternal son' doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church.


(For further discussion of this portion of Faustus, see Barbara Aland, Joël Delobel, New Testament textual criticism, exegesis, and early church history (Peeters, 1994) at 121.)


Based on Epiphanius' account of the Hebrew Matthew, what explains Augustine partially quoting Matthew, but not contesting either it or Luke actually lacks the language "this day," etc.?



IV. When And Why Did This Change Happen?


It takes no genius to figure out why this text was deleted about "this day I have begotten thee" in Latin.

The message at the Baptism "this day I have begotten thee" conflicted with a doctrine first adopted in 325 AD at Nicea that Jesus was in effect the 'eternal son of God.' Jesus was said to be "begotten not made" which supposedly meant he was eternal -- 'not made' -- and was begotten in an eternal state of begottenness -- a concept incomprehensible to the human mind but yet  affirmed as fact.


While no verse of truly inspired writ expressly supports that idea of an eternal son, it became fixed dogma.


Next, let's touch on the time "this day I begotten thee" is erased. We know it exists in the Codex Beza which dates to the 400s. This is also known as Codex D or the Western-type text. It was the form of text of Rome's period of text copying until it transitions to Byzantium text type.  Constantine moved the empire's capital from Rome to Constantinople in 330 AD.  The text type of Bibles thereafter moved to a different text type known as the Byzantine text type.  That took some time. Eventually, a first New Testament will appear and after that literally thousands of versions -- all belonging to the Byzantine text type -- will dominate. 


No one actually ever says that nowhere in the thousands of the examples of the Byzantine text type that there is omission of "This day I have begotten thee" spoken at Jesus' baptism. Instead, all that is ever said is they found this baptismal language in the Western type text -- Codex Beza, and then earlier in church writings from early the 300s to much earlier. Silence. Crickets when it comes to what is in the Byzantine text types.


This silence is apparently intended so that we would  infer or assume that we will not find a baptismal account with "This day I have begotten thee" anywhere in the Byzantine text type manuscripts for the New Testament. Because there are thousands of copies to consider, has no one been brave enough to ever tells us what is there?  Nor does anyone ever said it does not exist in any single version of the New Testament in that tradition, let alone the earliest. It is an eery silence.


Regardless, what is the oldest version of the Gospels of the New Testament in that Byzantine text tradition? The Codex Alexandrinus. It comes from the 400s -- and is known to be from the "Fifth Century" -- that is, the 400s. See "Byzantine Text Type," Wikipedia. It has a Byzantine-text type for the Gospels only. Otherwise, the remainder of its NT is in the Alexandrian text type.  Thus, Codex Alexandrinus covers both Matthew and Luke in the Byzantine text type.


What is peculiar is that this oldest preserved text type in Greek after the Codex Beza has never been been translated into English except Mark. The Catholic Encyclopedia mentions Codex Alexandrinus was crucial in textual criticism of the Bible, but never mentions it was ever translated into any language at all. See link. I searched high and low. Codex Alexandrinus is well-preserved. But when you search on Matthew 3:17 or Luke 3:22 in Bible Hub, while you are offered the Greek words for numerous text manuscripts or collections, no parallel is offered for Codex Alexandrinus or even Codex Beza.  Is that an oversight? Or something more nefarious?


Well, study shows that Matthew in the Alexandrinus is missing 25 pages ("leaves") up through Matthew 25:6. See Fascimile of Codex Alexandrinus (1879) at page 4. So that is simply a preservation issue. But what about Luke 3:22?


I have looked over the fascimile version. Without chapter and verse numbering, and the difficulty of deciphering Greek in a Byzantine type font, only an expert can find Luke 3:22 and translate it for us.


It is puzzling that this most important early text of Christianity has not been translated into English except Mark apparently.  By contrast, there are three different English translations of the Septuagint Greek Bible dating to  247 BC. They are readily discoverable online. But a crucial early Greek New Testament -- the Codex Alexandrinus from the 400s -- is not translated at all into English except Mark, it appears. Most strange.


Regardless, the oldest competing example in that Byzantine-text manuscript tradition post-dates 383 AD when Faustus bested Augustine on the validity of "This day I have begotten thee" using both Matthew and Luke. It otherwise clearly exists in the competing line that survived right to the King James -- the Codex Beza-- only to be rejected by the KJV, and as a result it did not  survive in English translations.


So what do we know for a fact?


We know that prior to 383 AD,  'this day I have begotten thee' in the baptism account was quoted repeatedly in the early church writings going all the way back to 37 AD in the Hebrew Matthew and before 70 AD because Bishop Clement also mentions the sacrifices were still ongoing at Jerusalem. We know it persisted up through 383 AD, and is how Bishop Faustus defeated Augustine in their back-and-forth correspondence on the "eternal son doctrine" debate.


The motivation for destruction or for not translating the Baptismal "This Day" Language into English by the KJV or into Latin by Jerome is demonstrable simply by examining Charles Hodge's SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1871) Vol. 1.


Hodge addresses what would be the problem if this verse were in NT Scripture. He says if this language from Psalm 2:7 could be applied to Jesus, it is a "more plausible" objection to the 'eternal son' doctrine. He says:


More plausible objections are founded on certain passages of the Scriptures. In Psalm 2:7, it is said, “Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.” From this it is argued that Christ or the Messiah was constituted or made the Son of God in time, and therefore was not the Son of God from eternity. (Vol. 1 section 6 at ccel.org.)


Initially, notice that Hodges only has to address that it exists in a Psalm. He does not have to cope with the fact that the authentic version of Matthew's or Luke's Gospel ascribed this to the voice of Yahweh from heaven at Jesus' baptism. Yet, clearly he signifies if it were found in a true verse of the NT it would be a "plausible objection" to raise against the validity of the "eternal son" doctrine.


But the "eternal son" doctrine makes no sense. To say Jesus was the "Eternal Son" begotten of God, as was developed at Nicea and thereafter, was always a contradiction in terms. As Adam Clarke, a Methodist, explained in his commentary:

"…it is demonstrated that the doctrine of the eternal Sonship of Christ is absolutely irreconcilable to reason, and contradictory to itself. ETERNITY is that which has had no beginning, nor stands in any reference to time: SON supposes time, generation, and father; and time also antecedent to such generation: therefore the rational conjunction of these two terms, Son and eternity, is absolutely impossible, as they imply essentially different and opposite ideas" (Adam Clarke Commentary).


But this suppression of this passage in English and Latin translation is not an isolated incident. It fits a pattern where Christology (trinitarianism) -- the Nicene Creed -- must conquer no matter what the cost to the Bible delivered to the people.


Professor Bart D. Ehrman (Christian background; professor on Christianity) catalogs a whole series of similar alterations (some small, but some big) to the New Testament in his book The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture (Oxford University Press, 1993). There he warns us that:

...theological disputes, specifically disputes over Christology, prompted Christian scribes to alter the words of scripture in order to make them more serviceable for the polemical task. Scribes modified their manuscripts to make them more patently ‘orthodox’ and less susceptible to ‘abuse’ by the opponents of orthodoxy. (Id., at 3-4.)


 The fact this verse is present from the very beginning in Hebrew and Greek is too well-attested from too many sources, including the Epistle to the Hebrews in our very own NT of today, to deny what it has said from the very beginning. There is no proof it is actually missing from any early Greek text covering either Matt 3:17 or Luke 3:22.


What can we say of those church leaders in the early late 300s and early 400s who did not think it wrong to preserve a Latin translation that reflected a different version than the original? And this was repeated by the KJV?


They are forgerers via translation. They sadly were willing to use guile. They deserve our censure. As the orthodox church leader Tertullian said about Marcion in 200 AD and his followers who changed the earlier gospel accounts via Marcion's translation:


[W]e take up arms against heretics for the faith of the gospel, maintaining... that a late date is the mark of forgers, and...truth must needs precede the forgery, and proceed straight from those by whom it has been handed on. (Tertullian, Against Marcion, Bk. 4, ch. 5.)



V. Rabbinic Teaching Shortly After Christ Says God Will Address Messiah as God Did in Psalm 2


The Talmud book Sukkha preserves from 52 AD -- thus likely reflecting pre-Christ understanding too -- the thought of Jewish scribes that something like in the Hebrew Matthew from 37 AD  would be how God Yahweh would address Messiah:

"Our Rabbis taught, The Holy One, Blessed be He, will say to
the Messiah, the Son of David (may he reveal himself speedily in our
day), 'Ask of me anything, and I will give it thee,' as it is said, 'I will
tell of the decree,' erc., 'this day have I begotten thee, ask of me and I
will give the nations for thy inheritance.''' (Talmud, Sukkah 52)

(quoted in Problems of Bible Translation (1954) at page 145 (PDF link).


Thus, if Jewish teachers could say in Christ's era that this will be spoken to the Messiah when he comes, why should we not actually expect God to have said this to Jesus as truly recorded in Matthew and Luke - as all the most early witnesses and documents prove?


The effort to suppress this via translation had nothing ever that one could truly say it was truly heretical. 

VI. Ehrman On How Luke's Gospel Was Worked Over to Remove Ebionite Version that Jesus' Human Father Was Joseph At The Same Time "This Day" is Removed


Bart Ehrman's book Lost Christianities (N.Y. 2003) explained Luke was edited in three places.


First, Luke 2:33 and Luke 2:48 both contain verses that state that Joseph was Jesus' father. At least, that is what is said in the oldest manuscripts. Verses such as Luke 2:33 supported Ebionite Christians' belief derogatorily referred to incorrectly as adoptionism, i.e., God spoke "this day I have begotten thee" over Jesus.


Strangely, in some later manuscripts Luke 2:33 and Luke 2:48 both had the word 'father' edited out although over half of our bibles today have thankfully reverted to the original version.

Othwrwise, Luke 3:22 is where God clearly says that he is giving birth to Jesus as Son of God. It was not translated  late in church history in the 405 AD Vulgate but is present in the Greek Codex Bexae dating to the 400s.


VII. Ehrman How God Is Left Saying Only Something Lacking Significant Truth


Bart Ehrman at page 66 of Orthodox Corruption also shows how uninformative is "This is my beloved son" when compared to "This day I have begotten thee" because it alludes to Psalm 2: 


[O]ne is hardpressed to see how the more commonly attested text of Luke 3:22 could be original. For this reading, ("You are my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased') constitutes a mere identification formula in which Jesus is recognized as the Son of God. It is only in the variant reading, the one that is attested by virtually all the earliest witnesses, that God is actually said to confer a new status on Jesus ("Today I have begotten thee") Only in theologiclly difficult [sic: meaningful] reading is God said to 'elect' Jesus in a manner presupposed in 9:5, that is, through a quotation of the royal adoption [sic: "this day I have begotten thee"] drawn from the second Psalm.


VIII. Ehrman's Astonishment

 Ehrman returns to this issue in Lost Christianities (Oxford University Press, 2005) at page 223, and provides a poignant observation:


This is one proto-orthodox alteration that proved remarkably successful. Even though the potentially dangerous ("heretical") form of the text is found in virtually all our oldest witnesses [...] it is the altered form of the text that is found in the majority of surviving manuscripts and reproduced in most of our English translations



Restoring this Verse Is Central to Christianity


Jesus said in John 5:31 that "if I testify on my own behalf, my witness would not be valid." So if Jesus alone says he is Yahweh's Messiah and Son of Yahweh, we must reject that as invalid. Right? Who can say who is Yahweh's Messiah and Son? Only God. There can be only one who can testify validly.

Jesus continues in John 5:32, and says: "There is another who testifies about me, and I know His testimony is true." Jesus means the Father.


So where in the New Covenant Scriptures does the Father testify directly that Jesus is Messiah and Son of God before multiple human witnesses IF ONE ELIMINATES THE BAPTISMAL QUOTE OF PSALM 2 BY THE FATHER FROM HEAVEN that was made in front of many corroborating witnesses?


Without this passage, Jesus must be deemed invalidated as Messiah and Son of God, no matter how much we hope otherwise.


So what was lost by the Roman Catholic Church and Protestant Trinitarians removing this passage in the Vulgate and in English translations?


All of Christianity is unsustainable without this verse.


Why was this verse rejected in the Latin Vulgate and in the KJV?


For a holy purpose? Or to protect a message belonging to  Satan?


It was removed clearly to protect the "eternal son" doctrine in the Nicene Creed -- a doctrine nowhere found in Holy Scripture. Moreover, this core statement of Yahweh was removed to make room for a human doctrine which is completely nonsensical.


Thus, an unessential and crazy claim took priority over words from Yahweh that are absolutely necessary to validate Jesus as Messiah and Son of God.


Hence, this study above shows not only the importance of this missing passage, but also the purpose of Satan behind the ridiculous "eternal son" doctrine that so many bow to uncritically.






Email On This Topic


Amy wrote me on November 3, 2010 as follows:

The original gospel of Matthew clearly had Jesus being told by YHWH "this day I have begotten thee" and the holy spirit in the form of a dove descended, and entered Jesus. At that point, Jesus became the Son of God indwelled in a unique SHekinah sense by God Himself. Jesus was a man, and continued to be a man despite that experience. Every word or act he saw heard from the Father, he repeated / acted out, as Jesus says in John's Gospel. God knew our feebleness and used a man whom we can see in person, hear in person, who would uniquely be filled by God whom we would listen to....Daniel in Daniel 7 speaks of the Son of Man (a human) coming to earth in time of judgment on clouds of glory, holding God's power in his hands.....but his title and the passage makes it clear this is a MAN -- a man on "clouds of glory" (a synonymn for God's presence).



Augustine Deflection of Psalm 2 in Matthew & Luke


Augustine in Enchiridion 49 appears to concede the presence of "this day I have begotten thee." Augustine there

"explains that Jesus did not really become God's 'Son' on that day; the 'today' is instead an eternal day." (Barbara Aland, Joël Delobel, New Testament textual criticism, exegesis, and early church history (Peeters, 1994) at 121 n. 14 (quoting Jerome.) 


Honor to Servetus


Let's not forget the first martyr to the cause. Servetus was burned alive at the stake in 1553 at Calvin's charge because Servetus stood boldly against this absurdity -- the eternal son doctrine. As explained in Did Calvin Murder Servetus (2012) at 60-61:

Almost each and every charge of Calvin's accusation of 1553 ... arises from these points [by Servetus] about Jesus' nature as not the eternal son....When Servetus was being burned at the stake, Farel [a cohort of Calvin] exclaimed that because Servetus' last prayer spoke of Jesus as the "Son of the eternal God," rather than the "eternal Son of God," Servetus deserved to die as a heretic. Had Servetus prayed instead to the "eternal Son of God," Farel said Servetus would have been granted life.

There must be a special place in heaven for Servetus. But God help those who murdered him for refusing to pray to a lie to uphold the most harmful doctrine to Christianity -- the eternal son doctrine -- because it led to the suppression of the crucial Baptismal language essential to proving a valid and essential witness for Jesus!