I've been reading Timothy Ware's book "The Orthodox Church" and have reached the part about "God and Humankind". I usually never care to even think about the Trinity or the nature of the Trinity. But after reading part of his chapter on it (it's a long chapter and i'm only part through), I've had difficulty when he brings up where we refer to the Son as "begotten before all ages".
I thought that the the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit have ALWAYS existed as the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, even outside of the reality of time. There has never been a point where the Son was not the Son as he is now, and thus the same for the Father and the Holy Spirit.
So what do we mean when we say "begotten before all ages?" Because in our typical definition of begotteness (shown at the bottom of the post), wouldn't that imply that he came from the Father? Even if we say he wasn't created, doesn't begottenness imply maybe that he was once in the Father and was not the Son in the way that he is now the Son?
Wouldn't it also imply that he was begotten before time even existed? But how can something that is uncreated, ever-existing and forever the same be begotten (not in the sense of the begottenness of the incaration) at ANY point, even outside of time?
I thought that the Holy Trinity has ALWAYS (even into enternity outside of time) been the Trinity and have ALWAYS been the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit as they are now.
So what do we mean by "begotten before all ages?" I cannot seem to read much of his chapter on God and Humankind without being extremely confused, dismayed, etc... I had the same problem when I tried to listen to Fr. Thomas Hopko's podcast on the Trinity.
Wouldn't it just be better if we don't try to explain it rather than send ourselves or others into despair and confusion over trying to explain it?
What does this "begotten before all ages" mean?
be·get Audio Help /bɪˈgɛt/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[bi-get] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–verb (used with object), be·got or (Archaic) be·gat; be·got·ten or be·got; be·get·ting. 1. (esp. of a male parent) to procreate or generate (offspring).
2. to cause; produce as an effect: a belief that power begets power.