Trinitarians routinely interpret this verse in a variety of ways and even will interpret this verse to God begetting Jesus in eternity past (before creation existed).
The Claim vs. The Facts
The Scriptural facts show us explicitly that this Psalm was fulfilled when God raised Jesus from the dead.
The Problem with the Trinitarian Claim(s)
"Today" is a word which describes a unit in time and within creation, time and space. God created the ages and there was no time continuum before creation. Eternity is a state of timelessness. It is quite impossible for this Psalm to be referring to a time before the beginning of time since that would be an absurdity.
2. Paul's Testimony
Paul testifies unambiguously that the second Psalm, "Today I have begotten you," was fulfilled when God raised Jesus from the dead.
Though they could charge him with nothing deserving death, yet they asked Pilate to have him killed. And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a tomb. But God raised him from the dead and for many days he appeared to those who came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are now his witnesses to the people. And we bring you the good news that what God promised to the fathers, this He has fulfilled to us their children by raising JesusJUST AS also it is written in the second psalm, "You are my Son, today I have begotten you. And as for the fact that He raised him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, he spoke in this way, "I will give you the holy and sure blessings of David.' Therefore he says also in another psalm, "You will not let your Holy One see corruption.' For David, after he had served the counsel of God in his own generation, fell asleep, and was laid with his fathers, and saw corruption; but He whom God raised up saw no corruption. (Acts 13:28-37; see also Acts 2:24-31).
3. The Hebrews Writer's Testimony
The Hebrew writer provides the same testimony. He also quotes 2 Samuel 7:14 which further qualifies his understanding of the second Psalm.
Having made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on High, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has obtained is more excellent than theirs. For to what angel did God ever say, "You are my Son, today I have begotten you" or again, "I will be to him a father, and he will be a son to me"? (Hebrews 1:3-5).
Analysis of the Facts
1. Jesus: Born/Begotten and Born/Begotten Again
In both of the above New Testament quotations, it is quite clear that we are to understand Jesus was begotten by God in the resurrection event. In short, this means that Jesus was begotten again, born again. He was first begotten in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod (Matthew 2:1). But he died, he was dead, and now he is begotten again a second time from death into a new life. Jesus who was begotten in Bethlehem was dead. In order for him to come to life again, new life, he needed to be begotten again unto life. And this is the reason we are told he was begotten a second time in his resurrection out of the dead. Because he was begotten again a second time, from above, this is the reason that we in him can be begotten again from above.
Jesus of Nazareth, begotten in Bethlehem, was a son of God. But he died to this life and he was dead. When he was resurrected, he was begotten out of the dead. This is what Paul is testifying at Acts 13:33. He was begotten again, the firstBORN out of the dead. This is the very reason we can be born/begotten again in him into his resurrection life.
2. The Firstborn out of the Dead
Further to the point, this is the reason Jesus is called "the firstborn of the dead" in the Scriptures.
Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For in him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities, all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things stand together. He is also head of the body, the church; and he is the beginning, the firstborn out of the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. For it was the Father's good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him. (Colossians 1:15-19).
Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn out of the dead. Revelation 1:5.
For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that he would be the firstborn among many brothers. (Romans 8:29).
This language is telling us the same thing as Acts 13:33 where Paul tells us the second Psalm, "Today I have BEGOTTEN you," was fulfilled when God raised Jesus from the dead. For this reason, Jesus is called the firstBORN out of the dead.
It is quite clear that Paul and the Hebrew's writer are teaching that the second Psalm, "Today I have begotten you," was fulfilled when God raised Jesus from the dead. Having been begotten the first time in Bethlehem, we are to understand that, Jesus having died, was begotten again in the resurrection event. For this reason, he was begotten in his resurrection and is the "firstborn" of the dead. Because Jesus was born/begotten again, others can now be born/begotten again in him and his resurrection life.
It is also therefore aburd to try and construe the second Psalm to refer to God begetting Jesus in eternity past as Trinitarians sometimes attempt.
Note: The very reason Jesus could be born/begotten again when he was born out of the dead was because he was sinless. It must be understood that our new birth is not what washes our sins away. Our own new birth is something which can only occur if we are already sinless. We become sinless when we have our sins washed away by dying with Christ. Only then can we be born again to new life, resurrection life. The cross came first and it is the cross which washes away our sins. The resurrection came next and Jesus' resurrection life is what gives us our new birth to new life. Our new birth is entering Jesus' resurrection life and this occurs only once we have died with Christ and his cross. First death then resurrection. First our sins are washed away when we die with him and then we can be born again and raised up with him into resurrection life. We ourselves must be washed as white as snow and made sinless like Jesus was when he died on the cross. It was was only because he was sinless that death could not hold him and he was begotten again out of the dead. And so if we want to be born anew into this resurrection life, we bodies of flesh must first be washed of our sins and made sinless through his blood so that, like baby Jesus, we can be born out of pure virgin flesh from above by the Spirit of God just as Jesus was begotten out of pure virgin flesh by the Spirit of God.
"I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and of Hades." (Revelation 1:18).
Created: March 11, 2011 Last Revision/Update: January 30, 2016