The Vexed Question of the Only Begotten Daughter

The Vexed Question of the Only Begotten Daughter

By Hamish Robertson, Scotland

After True Father’s ascension Mother has spoken of herself as the “only begotten daughter.” The dispute about this is causing serious division in the Unification movement. It is important to understand that True Father himself created the concept, and we have a responsibility to try and arrive at the meaning that True Father was indicating, when he used this term.

True Father created the term in order to describe the counterpart to the ‘only begotten son.’ He said that the “only begotten son” needed to find the “only begotten daughter.” The term ‘only begotten son’ originates from the words of the Gospel of St. John, “For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten son” (John 3:16). This refers to Jesus. We also believe that True Father is the ‘only begotten son,’ because he comes as the third Adam, to fulfil the mission of Jesus, the second Adam. The concept of ‘only begotten daughter’ was created in consideration of the providence of True Parents. Without the only begotten daughter, True Father could not have his bride and initiate the realm of True Parents.

Some suggest that there is a problem in the translation of this term between Korean and English. The Korean equivalent of ‘only begotten’ is dok-saeng, where dok refers to ‘only,’ ‘single,’ and saeng refers to ‘life’ or ‘birth.’ The doksaeng-ja is the ‘only begotten son,’ and the doksaeng-nyŏ is the ‘only begotten daughter.’ There has been no mistranslation.

Some also suggest that the problem arises in the translation from the original Greek. The traditional King James Bible speaks of God’s ‘only begotten son,’ while some modern bibles have God’s ‘only son.’ The Greek word mono-genē(s) can be translated as ‘one kind’ or ‘unique,’ hence ‘only.’ However, the root gen-, with the sense of ‘origin,’ ‘procreation’ and ‘birth,’ can be seen in English words derived from Greek and Latin, such as gene, genesis, genealogy, generate, genital, gender. ‘Only begotten’ cannot be said to be a mistranslation from the Greek.

In fact, the dispute about translation is not so important for Unificationists. We are not really worried about Christian or Catholic concerns which have led to the doctrines of immaculate conception and virgin birth. We understand that Zechariah was the physical father of Jesus. True Father explained that conditions were made in the lineage of Judah so that the womb of Mary was specially prepared to receive God’s son. He also explained that Mary’s relationship with Zechariah, which involved deceiving Joseph, her future husband, while it was immoral in the eyes of society, was necessary for God’s seed to bring about the conception of Jesus.

These conditions were necessary for the birth of Jesus, the messiah and second Adam. They were not repeated, as far as we know, in the case of True Father, the third Adam. There were some dreams and portents, but nothing like the Christmas story of the baby in the manger, the bright star in the east, the three wise men and the shepherds in the field, to mark the birth of True Father. He was born the second son in a respectable farmer’s family in North Korea. Divine Principle points to the parallels of history, the providential arrival of Christianity in Korea, the 40-year Japanese occupation, and the World Wars, as evidence that the Messiah, the third Adam, could be born in 1920 in Korea. God worked in a different way to bring forth His son in the Second Coming.

True Father said on many occasions that God has been looking throughout the six thousand years of biblical history, following the fall of Adam, for the one man who would come and fulfil God’s purpose of creation. Divine Principle divides the process of the Fall in two parts: the spiritual fall by which Lucifer (Satan) seduced Eve, and the physical fall by which Eve proceeded to seduce Adam. The spiritual fall was more serious in that it involved the unnatural sexual relationship between the angel and the woman, whereas the physical fall was more understandable in that it involved the relationship between the woman and the man. The result of the Fall was that Satan became lord of the world and upturned the order of creation, so that, instead of being the servant of Adam and Eve, he dominated them. Adam became a false man, with characteristics of the fallen archangel, dominating the woman by physical strength. Eve became a false woman, also with characteristics of the fallen archangel, dominating man by spiritual guile. The roles of subject and object became confused. All mankind inherited the blood lineage of Satan, and society became hell.

The Fall had to be reversed by one man coming in place of Adam, who would subjugate Satan and restore a woman in place of Eve, as the Bride, and establish the True Parents. This was the dispensation behind the covenant of God with Abraham, the history of Israel and the lineage of Judah. That man was to have been Jesus, the second Adam. However, Jesus was not able to find his bride and establish God’s kingdom on earth, and the dispensation was prolonged until another man came as the third Adam, namely, True Father. Like Adam, and like Jesus, True Father came as the ‘only begotten son,’ or ‘only son’ of God. He is the Messiah, born without sin, whose mission is to subjugate Satan, bring forth the word of God, and find his Bride, the ‘only begotten daughter,’ from among the women of the fallen world.

The concept of ‘only begotten son’ and ‘only begotten daughter’ must be considered in light of True Father and Mother’s positions as the Messiah and the Bride and in the context of the history of restoration. We know that True Father had a first wife, the lady Choi, and a second consort, the lady Kim. Mother is the third. Can we say that there have been three ‘only begotten daughters’? We are stretching the meaning of ‘only.’ Are we to believe that Mother is ‘the only begotten daughter,’ and that True Father made a mistake in marrying the first two ‘only begotten daughters’? We believe that True Father made no mistake. The first two brides did not succeed as brides of the Messiah, for different reasons. If we say that True Father made a mistake in marrying the first two, then he is no longer qualified to be the Messiah.

Original Eve was an only-begotten daughter, the counterpart of Adam at the beginning of history. Jesus was crucified, without finding his counterpart. With regard to the question of True Father’s three brides, True Father said, referring to the Fall, that even if Eve fell, and Adam had stayed firm and loyal to God, God could have created another Eve, in order to accomplish the providence of the ideal family in Adam’s time (May 11, 1969, Cheon Seong Gyeong, p. 514). In other words, if one bride failed in her responsibility, another had to be found.

We have to understand this difference in meaning between the ‘only begotten daughter’ and ‘the only begotten son.’ Jesus and True Father were unique. God’s providence was working for thousands of years for the coming of the one man who would be the messiah. There was no other true messiah in the time of Jesus, born in China or Europe, but only in Judea. There was no other True Father in our present time, born in America or India, but only in Korea. In the case of Mother, however, she could be a Choi, a Kim, a Han, a Park, a Lee, or a worthy daughter of any of the clans of Korea, or even a princess of England, as True Father said (October 3, 1988, Cheon Seong Gyeong, p. 1,179).

Once chosen, however, the bride had the responsibility to succeed in her mission as the counterpart of the messiah. The mission of the Bride may seem glorious, but it must be incredibly difficult. She has to restore the situation of fallen womankind of all history. True Father said that a sister’s course is three times as difficult as a brother’s course. Mother’s course must be ten thousand times more difficult than that of a normal bride.

In the original creation, God created Eve from Adam. In the history of restoration, the Adam figure must find the bride from among the purest of women, a woman as virtuous as Mary who bore the Christ. The lady Choi and the lady Kim must have had excellent qualities. In the case of Mother, we know that she had the merit of being the only daughter of an excellent mother, Hong Soon-ae (Daemonim), who was the only daughter of an excellent grandmother, Jo Won-mo. However, Mother, like Mary, mother of Jesus, was born of fallen lineage, even though many excellent conditions might have been laid in their ancestry. Only the Messiah is born without original sin, from the seed of God. The rest of mankind, both men and women, are born in sin. Through the Marriage of the Lamb, the messiah restores the bride. We understand from True Father’s words that this restoration of the bride, or wife, of the messiah in reality goes through many stages. The bride needs to be raised up, or educated, by the messiah.

The Marriage of the Lamb took place in 1960. We originally thought that this was a perfection level blessing and that heaven would ensue forthwith. However, we later found out that this was only the formation stage marriage of True Parents. The growth stage marriage was held in 2003. As spiritual children (Cain children) of the True Parents, we also received our first blessing, whether in the 1960s or 1970s or later. We also came to receive the growth stage blessing following that of True Parents in 2003. The difference between our situation and that of True Parents is that, among us Cain children, the brother starts in the position of archangel and has to progress to the position of Adam, while the sister has a role as symbolic bride of the messiah in restoring her husband to the position of true man. In the case of True Parents, the Messiah (Adam) restores the Bride. The completion level marriage of True Parents was to be celebrated at the time of Foundation Day, which was to have signalled the completion level marriage for all of us. Unfortunately, True Father did not live until that day. The completion level blessing never took place.

Since True Father’s ascension, Mother has declared that she is the ‘only begotten daughter.’ Unfortunately she has gone further and made assertions that contradict True Father’s words. She has said that she was born without sin, whereas True Father said that she came from fallen lineage. She has said that she needed no education, and that she knew Divine Principle intrinsically from birth, whereas True Father said that she needed to be raised up through various stages. She has emphasised the Han clan lineage (the name of her father), which True Father told her not to be proud of, since it is a fallen lineage, like that of all clans. She has said that the six thousand years of history have been leading to her, the only begotten daughter. She says this with no thanks to True Father, who raised her to the status of Mother. She has gone on to say that Father was born with sin and only became the messiah when he received the revelation from Jesus at age sixteen. She even claims that Father only overcame his sin through marrying her in 1960. It is as if everything that True Father said about the situation and restoration of the Bride has been picked up by the bride and thrown back at him, as applying to the Messiah, not to herself. In all this madness, she has claimed to be the Messiah herself, who will reveal the truth. What sort of truth, we may ask?

Unification members are asked to believe all this, because True Father is in spirit world and Mother claims to speak in the name of True Parents. It is assumed that True Father and Mother are totally united. How can they be united when Mother contradicts True Father’s words so fundamentally? And why has Mother chosen to make her claims public after her husband passed away, and not before? And if those claims were valid, why did True Father, the Messiah, not teach them to us in his lifetime? They come from Mother alone. It is known that Mother has ordered True Father’s texts to be changed, passages to be removed, and extra passages to be inserted, although True Father commanded that they not be changed in any way.

While the movement has been sleeping, or just getting on with conferences and celebrations, it is as if a bomb has been thrown at the internal providence. Mother’s separation from True Father’s heart and word can be regarded as the most serious blow to God’s providence since the crucifixion of Jesus. Unificationists are reluctant to confront this reality, because it threatens the ideal we have of True Parents. Let us not lose hope, however. God will always find a way to fulfil His providence. True Father has already given his words of truth, and pointed the way.