μονογενής, monogenēs: only (one of its kind), unique; lit. only one made/born.
The differences that we see in verse 14 of the different translations derive from the inability of language to adequately describe the unique position that Jesus Christ holds in being both fully human and fully divine. While other authors use the term (μονογενής, monogenēs) to describe the relationship between a human parent and child, John uses it exclusively to describe the relationship between Christ and his Father. I’m not a fan of the choices of the NASB and the NKJV in using the word “begotten”, since that is the past tense of the word begat and I don’t know anyone who uses that in today’s world and as such has no place in a modern translation. Aside from that, I think the translators do an excellent job in trying to convey who Jesus Christ really is.
This difficulty is compounded in verse 18 when the ambiguity of the Greek grammar provides for some even more interesting choices by the translators.
Please remember that while we believe that the original autographs (words penned by the authors) are correct and inerrant, translations are not and as such, they try to determine the original intent of the author as best they can. In this, we have a tremendous opportunity with a wide variety of translations and even the ability to learn the languages ourselves. Please be wary of anyone who uses the phrase “a better translation would be” – unless they have a least a Ph.D. in the language (especially if it’s me).