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Son of God- just a man

"Son of God" means "Servant of God" in Hebrew. Bible agrees with Islam, not with pagan trinity:

The sections of this article are:

1-  Comparison between Hebrew and Arabic.
2-  "Son of God" is the same as "Servant of God" in Hebrew!
3-  Articles with detailed proofs about "Son of God" means "Servant of God" in Hebrew.
4-  Jesus "feared" GOD in the Old Testament: Another proof that he is a Servant.
5-  Conclusion.




1-  Comparison between Hebrew and Arabic:

In this article, I will prove that the Bible's "Son of GOD" translation is wrong, because it literally means "Servant of GOD" as Islam clearly defines it.   I have shown ample evidence from Hebrew below.

The following definitions were taken from:

WordHebrew or ArabicEnglish Translation
AbelHebrewBreath or Son of
AbdArabicServant of or Slave of

Important Note:  Since "Abd" means "Servant of" in Arabic, and "Abel" means "Breath of" in Hebrew, then this means "Abel" in Hebrew could also mean "Servant of" or "Creation of", since it literally also means "Breath of".


The following Hebrew words and their definitions were taken from:

WordHebrew or ArabicEnglish Translation
BenHebrewSon of
BinArabicSon of (as in Osama bin Laden)
Benie ElohimHebrewSons of GOD
BeniArabicPeople of (as in Bani Israel, People of Israel)

Important Note:  Since "Beni" in Arabic means "People of", then this means that "Benie" in Hebrew also means "People of" or "Group of", or "Belongings of", which was falsely translated as "Sons of" throughout the entire Bible!


"In the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha

This literature contain a few passages in which the title "son of God" is given to the Messiah (see Enoch, cv. 2; IV Esdras vii. 28-29; xiii. 32, 37, 52; xiv. 9); but the title belongs also to any one whose piety has placed him in a filial relation to God (see Wisdom ii. 13, 16, 18; v. 5, where "the sons of God" are identical with "the saints"; comp. Ecclus. [Sirach] iv. 10).

In Judaism, it is through such personal relations that the individual becomes conscious of God's fatherhood, and gradually in Hellenistic and rabbinical literature "sonship to God" was ascribed first to every Israelite and then to every member of the human race (Abot iii. 15, v. 20; Ber. v. 1; see Abba). In one midrash, the Torah is said to be God's "daughter" (Leviticus Rabbah xx.)"


Important Note:  "filial relation to God" means that a person or creation has a special place in GOD Almighty's Sight.  Also, "sons of God" being identical with "the saints" means that the term "son of God" is not an accurate one in the sense of being physically or biologically "part of GOD" or "Son of GOD" respectively as the trinitarian Christians falsely claim.

Also, "In one midrash, the Torah is said to be God's "daughter'", further proves my point that "Son of GOD" today in the English bibles don't mean more than a "Creation of GOD" or "Servant of GOD"; perhaps a very dear or special servant of GOD Almighty, as the Torah was also called "daughter of GOD".



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2-  "Son of God" is the same as "Servant of God" in Hebrew!

"In modern English usage, the Son of God is almost always a reference to Jesus Christ, whom Christianity holds to be the son of the Christian God, eternally begotten of God the Father and coeternal with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit.

Human or part-human offspring of deities are very common in other religions and mythologies, however. For example in the Epic of Gilgamesh, one of the earliest recorded legends of humanity, Gilgamesh claimed to be of both human and divine descent. Another well-known son of a god and a human is Hercules.

A great many pantheons also included genealogies in which various gods were descended from other gods, and so the term "son of god" may be applied to many actual deities as well."


Important Note:  So as we can see, the "Son of GOD" theory originally comes from pagan Greek origins.   And since most of the Bible's New Testament was written in Greek, then it had been without a doubt negatively influenced by such pagan theology, where Jesus being called "Son of GOD" is literally interpreted today as "part of GOD" or the "Creator of the Universe".


"In the Hebrew Bible Israel is both a man (Jacob, the son of Isaac) and the nation that descended from him.

Because of the shared name and organic identity, God speaks to the nation as though he were a single person. Israel is, in fact, God's son (Exod 4:22 — beni vechori yisrael; Deut 14:1 — banim atem l'Adonai; Jer 31:9 — ki hayiti le'yisrael le'av; Hosea 11:1 — mimitzrayim qarati livni).

Israel's Father nurtures him to grow up and become a worshiping servant (Exod 4:23 — "Let my son go that he may serve me")."


Important Note:  Here we see when Israel became GOD Almighty's "son", he reached the point of being GOD Almighty's "servant".  This means that "son of GOD" is nothing but a "Servant of GOD" as clearly defined in Islam.  It doesn't at all mean that the individual is part of GOD Almighty, or he is GOD the Father Himself.

This is further proven in this quote:

"The Inner Son Rescues His People
Read together, these texts make clear that the Plan (etzah) is set in God's mind. He will use the anointed one — and his circle of faithful-to-God disciples — as his agent for bringing rebellious Israel back to his sonship calling.

YHVH formed me from the womb to be His Servant, 
to bring Jacob back to him, 
in order that Israel might be gathered to Him.

It is too small a thing that you should be 
my Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, 
and to restore the preserved ones [netzurim] of Israel . . . (Isa 49:5, 6)

It's worth noting that the apostles Paul and Barnabas quoted this passage in reference to themselves, as being members of the Messiah's Remnant Israel (Acts 13:46-48; cf. Luke 2:32).

Thus, within the writings of Isaiah we observe the tensions, paradoxes, and hopes for fixing what is broken — both within God's servant people and in the creation as a whole. To accomplish this there are two whoserve the Lord, two with the title "Eved." "


Important Note:  Again, we see that the Son of GOD's main responsibility is to Serve GOD Almighty and to Worship Him alone.  So a Son of GOD is basically a Servant of GOD.  Also, Jesus being called "Son of GOD" is also no different.  Him being the "Son of GOD" means he is a Servant of GOD Almighty, or Abdallah, since "Abd" means "Servant of" and "Allah" means "GOD" or "The Supreme GOD Almighty above all gods".



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3-  Articles with detailed proofs about "Son of God" means "Servant of God":

Below are a list of articles that clearly prove from Hebrew resources that "Son of God" also means "Servant of God".


Article #1:

The following article was taken from:

(Emphasis below is mine)

Is Jesus "God's Son" or "God's Servant?" 

Do you see a difference between these two Bible versions?

King James Version
Acts 3:25 - Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.

Acts 3:26 - Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.

New King James Version
Acts 3:25 - You are the sons of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying to Abraham, 'And in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.

Acts 3:26 - To you first, God, having raised up His Servant Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning every one of you away from his iniquities.

In the KJV, we find that Jesus is God's Son. In the NKJV, we find that He is God's servant. These are clearly not the same! The Greek word found in the text here is "pais". It can be used in Greek for either "son" or "servant." So which one is correct here?

The solution is simple: look at the context in which it is used. In English, we have many words that can have more than one meaning. If a translator, going from English to another language, came across the word "bear," he would have a choice of meanings. But it wouldn't take rocket science to figure out which one to use.

If the passage described a man with a heavy burden, the translator would understand that the man is going to "bear," or "carry" the burden. If, on the other hand, the passage described a hairy beast climbing a tree, the translator would understand the correct meaning here applies to a forest-dwelling animal that will eat nearly anything it finds. It's not really very hard.

Now look at the Bible passage above. What is being discussed?

  • "children of the prophets"
  • "covenant which God made with our fathers"
  • "in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed."

It's clear, isn't it? The passage is talking about "children," and "fathers" and "seed." The word "pais" means "son." But the New King James translators chose "servant." Why? They were not alone. The New World Translation, created by the Jehovah's Witnesses who deny the deity of Jesus, translated this word "servant" also. So do the NIV, ASV, NASB and other modern Bible translations.

Could it be that these modern translators disagree that "pais" can be translated "son?" No, the NKJV committee translates this very word as "boy," "child" or "son" in Matthew 2:16; 17:18; 21:15; Luke 2:43; 9:42; and John 4:51. Yet they refused to translate the word as "son" in this powerful sermon where Peter presents Jesus as Messiah and Son of God.

One has to ask, why were these translators so determined to deny the deity of Jesus in this passage? Is this a Bible you can trust with your eternal destiny?




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Article #2:

From Jesus is God's servant

All of mankind are the servants of God. If a man were to own another man then that man would be his servant. Obviously this servant would be held in a lower regard than this man's own children (or himself). We do not usually find people telling their sons (or themselves): "come here my servant," or "Go over there my servant." Let us compare this with what God has to say about Jesus (pbuh):

  1. Matthew 12:18: "Behold my servant, whom I have chosen."
  2. Acts 3:13(RSV): "The God of Abraham, and of Isaac,.... hath glorified his servant Jesus."
  3. Acts 4:27(RSV): "For of a truth against thy holy servant Jesus, whom thou hast anointed...."

The Actual Greek word used is "pias" or "paida" which mean; "servant, child, son, manservant." Some translations of the Bible, such as the popular King James Version, have translated this word as "Son" when it is attributed to Jesus (pbuh) and "servant" for most everyone else, while more recent translations of the Bible such as the Revised Standard Version (RSV) now honestly translate it as "servant." As we shall see in later chapters, the RSV was compiled by thirty two Biblical scholars of the highest eminence, backed by 50 cooperating Christian denominations from the "most" ancient Biblical manuscripts available to them today. Chances are that no matter what your church or denomination you are able to name, that church took part in the correction of the King James Version of the Bible which resulted in the RSV.

The exact same word "pias" is attributed to Jacob(Israel) in Luke 1:54 and translated as "servant":

"He hath helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy;."

It is also applied to King David in Luke 1:69, and once again, it is translated as "servant":

"....the house of his servant David;" (also see Acts 4:25).

However, when it is applied to Jesus (e.g. Acts 3:13, Acts 4:27), NOW it is translated as "Son." (notice that it is not only translated as "son" but as "Son".) Why the double standard? Why the dishonest translation techniques?

"And verily, among them is a party who twist their tongues with the Scripture that you might think that it is from the Scripture but it is not from the Scripture; and they say, 'It is from Allah' but it is not from Allah; and they speak a lie against Allah while [well] they know it!"

The noble Qur'an, A'al-Umran(3):78

"The Messiah will never scorn to be a servant of Allah, nor will the favored angels. Whosoever scorns His service and is proud, all such will He assemble unto Him; Then as for those who believed and did good works, unto them will he pay their wages in full and shall increase them from His bounty. [But] as for those who were scornful and proud, He shall punish hem with a painful torment, nor will they find for themselves other than Allah any ally or champion"

The noble Qur'an, Al-Nissa(4):172-174



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Article #3:

The following excerpt was taken from:

"Mr. Tom Harpur says in the preface to his book: "The most significant development since 1986 in this regard has been the discovery of the title "Son of God" in one of the Qumran papyri (Dead Sea Scrolls) used in relation to a person other than Jesus.....this simply reinforces the argument made there that to be called the Son of God in a Jewish setting in the first century is not by any means the same as being identical with God Himself." For Christ's Sake, pp. xii."

The article goes into great depth in refuting the polytheist trinity paganism.  I recommend reading it.


Article #3:

The following excerpt was taken from:

"....And there is only one Jehovah God, who qualifies! In fact, the whole idea of Christ being just a man or lesser god, makes the Christian belief ridiculous.

Isaiah 43:10-11

  • "Ye are My witnesses, saith the Lord, and My servant whom I have Chosen: that ye may know and believe Me, and understand that I AM He: before Me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after Me.
  • I, even I, AM the Lord; and beside Me, There is No Saviour."

That word translated Lord there is in the Hebrew [yehovah] Jehovah. There is no god before who is the Saviour, and no god after. Jehovah God is the only possible Saviour. No man, nor superman, could accomplish the task of being burdened with all our sins, judged for them, and be resurrected without them. Even a non-Christians can understand the bankruptcy of any other idea. For when we actually stop to think about it seriously, it's quite ludicrous! Unless this man was the very revelation of God (the only one able to become sin for us, and withstand the judgment thereof), we have no Saviour! And that is exactly what God said in Isaiah chapter 43 verse 11. Who could accomplish such a feat to be a saviour? The answer in all reasonableness is, no one but Jehovah God is the Saviour."

Again, the article goes into great depth in refuting the polytheist trinity paganism.   I recommend reading it.



4-  Jesus "feared" GOD in the Old Testament: Another proof that he is a Servant:

Let us look at the following verses from the Bible:

1.  A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
2.  The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him (Jesus)-- the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of
counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD 
(Jesus fearing his GOD)-- 
3.  and he will delight in the fear of the LORD. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or
decide by what he hears with his ears;

(From the NIV Bible, Isaiah 11:1-3)

In regards to the Spirit of GOD Almighty resting on Jesus, please visit:  The Spirit of GOD Almighty came upon others before and after Jesus in the Bible.

Anyway, a simple question here must be asked:  How can Jesus be the Creator of the Universe if he feared GOD Almighty?  Trinitarians often say "Jesus is the Son of God".  And when one tries to get further elaboration from them about what exactly "Son of God" means, they end up telling him that Jesus is the Creator of the Universe.

Almost every single trinitarian Christian that I debated believes that Jesus is the Creator of the Universe.

Let us look at what Jesus said about himself and about GOD Almighty:

"I do nothing of myself  (From the NIV Bible, John 8:28)"

"My Father (GOD) is greater than I  (From the NIV Bible, John 14:28)"

"Father (GOD), into thy hands I commend my spirit  (From the NIV Bible, Luke 23:46)"

"And Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone.  (From the NIV Bible, Mark 10:18)"

"No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.  (From the NIV Bible, Matthew 24:36)"

Do these quotes suggest at all that Jesus is in the same level as the Creator of the Universe? 



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5-  Conclusion:

As we've seen above, in Hebrew, "Son of God" can also be translated as "Servant of God", which literally means "Abdallah" in Arabic.   Abd = Servant, and allah = Allah, or the Supreme GOD Almighty that is above all gods.  So, Jesus being called "Son of God" does not mean anything about him being part of GOD or GOD Almighty Himself.  It simply means "Servant of God" since Jesus existed among Jews and preached the Gospel to them.

Allah Almighty said: "And they say: "(God) Most Gracious has begotten offspring." Glory to Him! they are (but) servants raised to honour.  (The Noble Quran, 21:26)"

Jesus himself in his own quotes in the New Testament refuted trinity as shown above.   The Bible in the Old Testament also refuted trinity by saying that Jesus will have the spirit of fearing GOD Almighty in him. 

How can GOD Almighty fear Himself?  And why would the Creator of the Universe have any fear in Him?

Jesus clearly was the Servant of GOD Almighty as Islam claims.  Jesus was the Jews' Messiah and Leader, and Allah Almighty's Messenger to them.  But he was not part of GOD Almighty, nor His biological son.



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Is Jesus Really the Jewish Messiah?

Let's examine the facts from a Jewish point of view. Not only do the Christians believe that Jesus is their Messiah, but they think that he is the Messiah as foretold by the Jewish Prophets of the Bible, and they try to prove it with quotes from the Bible and missionary organizations such as the Jews for Jesus, which try to entice Jews into converting to Christianity by telling them that they can accept Jesus as their Messiah and still be Jews. Because of these false claims by these missionary groups, Jews must have the facts in order to reaffirm our belief that all the Christian claims that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah is false.

Here are some of the points which demonstrate the blatant discrepancies and inconsistancies in the Missionaries' arguments in favor of Jesus.

  • The Jewish Messiah is to be a mortal human being born to two mortal parents. He is neither to be a god, nor a man born of supernatural or virgin birth. There is nothing in the Bible that states that the Messiah would be a god or God-like, or that he would be born to a virgin. The concept of the former contradicts the Jewish concept of God being above and beyond taking human form and limitations. Jews believe that only God should be worshipped, not a being of His creation, not even the Messiah himself. Besides, nowhere in the Bible is there any virgins giving birth. This idea is only found in pagan mythology, where virgins often bare offsping of gods. The only purpose of the concept of virgin birth is to attract pagans to Christianity.
  • The Jewish Messiah is supposed to return the Jews to the Holy Land, but Jesus lived while the Jews were still there before they were exiled by the Romans. How can he return them to their land if they were still living in it?
  • The Messiah is to rebuild the Jerusalem Temple, but Jesus lived while the Temple was still standing.
  • The Bible states that the Messiah will redeem Israel, but 30 years after Jesus died, Jerusalem was destroyed, and the Jews were exiled by the Roman to suffer 1900 years of persecution, mostly by the followers of Jesus.
  • The Prophets of the Bible foretold that all the nations of the world will acknowlege and worship the one true God (Isaiah 11.9, 45, and Zephaniah 3), but nothing like this happened after Jesus died; in fact, Islam develpoed and became the religion of many nations while Christianity splintered into many sects which constantly fight each other, and almost two-thirds of the human race worships idols. The world is very far from monotheism even to this day.
  • The Messiah's influence will extend to all who will worship God in the Jerusalem Temple. As the Prophet states, "My House will become the House of Prayer for all the Nations. This has clearly not taken place yet; therefore, the Messiah hasn't come yet.
  • A new spirit will fill the world man will no longer sin or commit crimes, especially the Jews (Deutteronomy 30: 6, Isaiah 60:21, Jeremiah 50:20, and Ezekiel 36:21). Soon after the days of Jesus, ignorance of God, science, and philosophy filled the earth, and the Dark Ages began.
  • If Jesus was God, why did he pray to and talk to himself?
  • The true Messiah will reign as King of the Jews. Jesus' carrer as a wandering preacher and "faith healer" lasted only three years until he was crucified by the Romans as a common criminal without any official postition or authority whatsoever.
  • One of the Messiah's main tasks is to bring world peace by ending wars and arms manufacturing (Isaiah 2:4). Yet, Christian nations are very war-like, and wars continue to be fought to this day.
  • Mark 13:30 and Matthew 4 states that the prophecies about the Messiah would take place during Jesus' generation, but nothing was accomplished after 2,000 years.
  • Nohwere does the Bible say that the Messiah would come once, die, and return in a "second coming". Such a concept was a Christian concept meant to rationalize Jesus' failure to function in any way as the Messiah or fulfill the Hebrew Bible's prophecies.
  • The Bible says that the Messiah would be descened from King David. If Jesus is the "Son of God", how could he be descened from King David from his father's side?
  • Missionaries constantly and deliberatly distort the meaning of the prophets' words in order to substantiate their claims; for example, the Hebrew term in Isaiah , "almah" means "young woman", not "virgin". Honest Christian scholars now admit this is a "pious fraud", and they translate the word correctly in the "Reverse Standard Version" of the Bible.
  • If Jesus' raising from the dead was so important to demonstrate who he was, why did it take place in secret instead of in the presence of his "thousands' of followers?
  • Jesus claimed that he didn't intend to change the laws of Moses (Matthew 5), but he later abrogated some of the laws, and his followers later abolished or changed nearly all of them; for example, Christians still eat pork and fail to celebrate Yom Kippur or Rosh Hashanna despite what the Torah says. The Torah constantly says that its laws are eternal, and they can't be abolished or changed.
  • Judaism believes that God is eternal, above, and beyond time. He can't be born, die, suffer, "become flesh", or be divivded into sections ("Father, Son, and Holy Ghost").
  • If Jesus was the Messiah, why does the New Testiment admit that not one of the rabbis of the time accept his claim? Why did all the educated men and prominent men reject him?
  • If Jesus was the Messiah, why did most of his own people, the Jews of that time, reject him, including his own family? Why did his followers consist almost completely of a handful of poorly educated people?
  • Jesus ordered his followers to preach to the Jews only, not the Gentiles (Matthew 10), but his followers did the exact opposite. He clearly considered himself th Messiah of the Jews only, but he is accepted by foreign nations, and not the Jews.
  • The purpose of the Messiah is to bring us to the day when all the Jews will observe the Torah and to teach it to all humankind who will accept its truths. Nowhere in the Torah does it state that the Messiah will abolish it. The Torah is eternal.
  • Nowhere in the Torah does it state that forgivness of a person's sins can be brought about by someone else's death. Each man isaccountable for his own sins, and each man must repent of his own sins by changing his ways and seeking God's forgiveness.
  • Matthew 1 and Luke 3 both give different accounts of Jesus being descended from King David through his father Joseph.
  • If Jesus was the "Son of God", why did he say on the cross, "My God, my God, why did thou foresake me?" instead of "My Father"?



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Son of God

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
God the Father and the Holy Spirit with a young Jesus, by Murillo, c. 1670.

"Son of God" is a phrase which, according to most Christian denominationsTrinitarian in belief, refers to the relationship between Jesus and God, specifically as "God the Son". To a minority of Christians, nontrinitarians, the term "Son of God", applied to Jesus in the New Testament, is accepted, while the non-biblical but less ambiguous "God the Son" is not.

Throughout history, emperors have assumed titles that amount to being "a son of god", "a son of a god" or "son of Heaven".[1] Roman Emperor Augustus referred to his relation to the deified adoptive father, Julius Caesar as "son of a god" via the term divi filius which was later also used by Domitian and is distinct from the use of Son of God in the New Testament.[2]

In the New Testament, the title "Son of God" is applied to Jesus on many occasions.[3] It is often seen as referring to his divinity, from the beginning in theAnnunciation up to the Crucifixion.[3] The declaration that Jesus is the Son of God is made by many individuals in the New Testament, and on two separate occasions byGod the Father as a voice from Heaven, and is asserted by Jesus himself.[3][4][5][6]



[edit]Historical context

For thousands of years, emperors and rules ranging from the Western Zhou dynasty (c. 1000 B.C.) in China to Jimmu Tenno of Japan (perhaps c. 600 B.C.) to Alexander the Great (c. 360 BC) have assumed titles that reflect a filial relationship with deities.[1][7][8][9]

Around the time of Jesus, the title divi filius (son of the divine one) was specially, but not exclusively, associated with EmperorAugustus (as adopted son of Julius Caesar). Later, it was also used to refer to Domitian (as son of Vespasian).[2][10] Augustus used the title "Divi filius", not "Dei filius", and respected the distinction.[11]

In the Book of Exodus Israel as a people is called "God's son", using the singular form.[12] Both the terms sons of God and "son of God" appear in Jewish literature predating the New Testament. In Jewish literature, the leaders of the people, kings and princes were called "sons of God" based on the view of the king as the lieutenant of God.[3] However, the Messiah, the Anointed One, was uniquely called the Son of God, as in Psalm 2:7: The "Lord hath said to me: Thou art my son, this day have I begotten thee".[3] This psalm can obviously be seen as referring to a particular king of Judah, but has also been understood of the awaited Messiah.[13]


"But who do you say that I am?" Peter answered him, "You are Christ, the Son of the living God". Jesus replied: "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah". — Matthew 16:15-17.[14]

In the New Testament, the title "Son of God" is applied to Jesus on many occasions.[3] It is often used to refer to his divinity, from the beginning of the New Testament narrative when in Luke 1:32-35 the angel Gabriel announces: "the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee: wherefore also the holy thing which is begotten shall be called the Son of God."[3]

The declaration that Jesus is the Son of God is echoed by many sources in the New Testament. On two separate occasions the declarations are by God the Father, when during the Baptism of Jesus and then during the Transfiguration as a voice from Heaven. On several occasions the disciples call Jesus the Son of God and even the Jews scornfully remind Jesus during his crucifixion of his claim to be the Son of God."[3]

Of all the Christological titles used in the New Testament, Son of God has had one of the most lasting impacts in Christian history and has become part of the profession of faith by many Christians.[15] In the mainstream Trinitarian context the title implies the full divinity of Jesus as part of the Holy Trinity of Father, Son and the Spirit.[15]

However, the concept of God as the father of Jesus, and Jesus as the exclusive Son of God is distinct from the concept of God as the Creator and father of all people, as indicated in the Apostle's Creed.[16] The profession begins with expressing belief in the "Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth" and then immediately, but separately, in "Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord", thus expressing both senses of fatherhood within the Creed.[16]

[edit]New Testament narrative

First page of Mark: "The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God", bySargis Pitsak 14th century.

The Gospel of Mark begins by calling Jesus the Son of God and reaffirms the title twice when a voice from Heaven calls Jesus: "my Son" in Mark 1:11 and Mark 9:7.[17]

In Matthew 14:33 after Jesus walks on water, the disciples tell Jesus: "You really are the Son of God!"[5] InMatthew 27:43, while Jesus hangs on the cross, the Jewish leaders mock him to ask God help, "for he said, I am the Son of God", referring to the claim of Jesus to be the Son of God.[6] Matthew 27:54 and Mark 15:39 include the exclamation by the Roman commander: "He was surely the Son of God!" after the earthquake following the Crucifixion of Jesus.

In Luke 1:35, in the Annunciation, before the birth of Jesus, the angel tells Mary that her child "shall be called the Son of God". In Luke 4:41, (and Mark 3:11) when Jesus casts out demons, they fall down before him, and declare: "Thou art the Son of God."

In John 1:34 John the Baptist bears witness that Jesus is the Son of God and in John 11:27 Martha calls him the Messiah and the Son of God. In several passages in the Gospel of John assertions of Jesus being the Son of God are usually also assertions of his unity with the Father, as in John 14:7-9: "If you know me, then you will also know my Father" and "Whoever has seen me has seen the Father".[17]

In John 19:7 the Jews cry out to Pontius Pilate "Crucify him" based on the charge that Jesus "made himself the Son of God." The charge that Jesus had declared himself "Son of God" was essential to the argument of the Jews from a religious perspective, as the charge that he had called himself King of the Jews was important to Pilate from a political perspective, for it meant possible rebellion against Rome.[18]

Towards the end of his Gospel (in 20:31) John declares that the purpose for writing it was "that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God".[17]

In Acts 9:20, after the Conversion of Paul the Apostle, and following his recovery, "straightway in the synagogues he proclaimed Jesus, that he is the Son of God."





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Jesus' own assertions

A series of articles on


When in Matthew 16:15-16 Apostle Peter states: "You are Christ, the Son of the living God" Jesus not only accepts the titles, but calls Peter "blessed" and declares the profession a divine revelation by stating: "flesh and blood did not revealed it to you, but my Father who is in Heaven."[4] By emphatically endorsing both titles as divine revelation, Jesus unequivocally declares himself to be both Christ and the Son of God in Matthew 16:15-16. The reference to his Father in Heaven is itself a separate assertion of sonship within the same statement.[4]

In the Sanhedrin trial of Jesus in Mark 14:61 when the high priest asked Jesus: "Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed one?" Jesus responded "I am". Jesus' claim here was emphatic enough to make the high priest tear his robe.[19]

In the new Testament Jesus uses the term "my Father" as a direct and unequivocal assertion of his sonship, and a unique relationship with the Father beyond any attribution of titles by others:[6]

  • In Matthew 11:27 Jesus claims a direct relationship to God the Father: "No one knows the Son except the Father and no one knows the Father except the Son", asserting the mutual knowledge he has with the Father.[6]
  • In John 5:23 he claims that the Son and the Father receive the same type of honor, stating: "so that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father".[6][20]
  • In John 5:26 he claims to possess life as the Father does: "Just as the Father has life in himself, so also he gave to his Son the possession of life in himself".[6][21]

In a number of other episodes Jesus claims sonship by referring to the Father, e.g. in Luke 2:49 when he is found in the temple a young Jesus calls the temple "my Father's house", just as he does later in John 2:16 in the Cleansing of the Temple episode.[6] In Matthew 1:11 and Luke 3:22 Jesus allows himself to be called the Son of God by the voice from above, not objecting to the title.[6]

References to "my Father" by Jesus in the New Testament are distinguished in that he never includes other individuals in them and only refers to his Father, however when addressing the disciples he uses your Father, excluding himself from the reference.[22]

[edit]New Testament references

Humans, including the New Testament writers, calling Jesus Son of God

Attributed to Jesus himself

Unclear whether attributed to Jesus himself or only a comment of the evangelist

The devil or demons calling Jesus Son of God

Jesus referred to as the Son:

The God and Father of Jesus

The New Testament also contains six[23] references to God as "the God and Father" of Jesus.[24]

[edit]Theological development

Emperor Constantine and the Fathers of the First Council of Nicaea of 325 with the Niceno–Constantinopolitan Creed of 381.

Through the centuries, the theological development of the concept of Son of God has interacted with other Christological elements such as Pre-existence of ChristSon of man, the hypostatic union, etc. For instance, in Johannine "Christology from above" which begins with the Pre-existence of Christ, Jesus did not become Son of God through the Virgin Birth, he always 'was' the Son of God.[25]

By the 2nd century, differences had developed among various Christian groups and to defend the mainstream view in the early Church, St. Irenaeus introduced the confession: "One Christ only, Jesus the Son of God incarnate for our salvation".[26] By referring to incarnation, this professes Jesus as the pre-existing Logos, i.e. The Word. It also professes him as both Christ and the only-begotten Son of God.[26]

To establish a common ground, the Nicene Creed of 325 began with the profession of the Father Almighty and then states the belief:[27]

"And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten of the Father [the only-begotten; that is, of the essence of the Father, God of God], Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father."

Saint Augustine wrote at length on the Son of God and its relationship with the Son of man, positioning the two issues in terms of the dual nature of Jesus as both divine and human in terms of the hypostatic union.[28] He wrote:

Christ Jesus, the Son of God, is God and Man: God before all worlds, man in our world.... But since he is the only Son of God, by nature and not by grace, he became also the Son of Man that he might be full of grace as well.[28]

However, unlike Son of God, the proclamation of Jesus as the Son of man has never been an article of faith in Christianity.[29] The interpretation of the use of "the Son of man" and its relationship to Son of God has remained challenging and after 150 years of debate no consensus on the issue has emerged among scholars.[30][31]

Just as in Romans 10:9-13 Paul emphasized the salvific value of "professing by mouth" that Jesus is Lord (Kyrion Iesoun) Augustine emphasized the value of "professing that Jesus is the Son of God" as a path to salvation.[32][33]

For Saint Thomas Aquinas (who also taught the Perfection of Christ) the "'Son of God' is God as known to God".[34] Aquinas emphasized the crucial role of the Son of God in bringing forth all of creation and taught that although humans are created in the image of God they fall short and only the Son of God is truly like God, and hence divine.[34]

[edit]Other religions and belief systems

Islam considers Jesus a respected prophet, but not the "Son of God". In Islam Jesus has no earthly father and is born through the breathing of the "Spirit of God" on Mary. However, Jesus is not considered the Son of God.[35][36] Rather, the Quran compares the nature of his birth to the birth of Adam, who had neither mother nor father.[37]

In the writings of the Bahá'í Faith, the term Son of God is a term that is applied to Jesus.[38] However the term is not seen as a literal physical relationship between Jesus and God;[39] instead the Bahá'í teachings state that the term is symbolic and is used to indicate the very strong spiritual relationship between Jesus and God,[38] and the source of his authority.[39] Shoghi Effendi, the Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith, also noted that the term Son of God does not indicate that the station of Jesus is superior to other prophets and messengers, that Bahá'ís name Manifestations of God, and include Jesus, BuddhaMuhammad and Baha'u'llah among others.[40]Shoghi Effendi notes that since all Manifestations of God share the same intimate relationship with God and reflect the same light, the term Sonship can in a sense be attributable to all the Manifestations.[38]




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Imperial titles

Throughout history, emperors and rules in diverse cultures have assumed titles that reflect their filial relationship with deities.[1] The title "Son of Heaven" i.e. 天子 (from  meaning sky/heaven/god and  meaning child) was first used in the Western Zhou dynasty (c. 1000 B.C.). It is mentioned in the Shijing book of songs, and reflected the Zhou belief that as Son of Heaven (and as its delegate) theEmperor of China was responsible for the well being of the whole world by the Mandate of Heaven.[7][8] This title may also be translated as "son of God" given that the word Ten or Tien in Chinese may either mean sky or god.[41]

Jimmu Tenno, the first Emperor of Japan (perhaps c. 600 BC) was also called the Son of Heaven, (Ten for Heaven and O for son).[9]Given that in Greek mythologyHeracles and many other figures, were considered sons of gods such as Zeus, from around 360 BC onwards Alexander the Great may have implied he was a demigod by using the title "Son of AmmonZeus".[42] The reference in Psalm 2 to the king as the son of God implies the authority of the king and the confirmation of his being adopted as the son of God at coronation time.[43]

denarius minted circa 18 BC. Obverse: CAESAR AVGVSTVS; reverse: DIVVSIVLIV(S)

Around the time of Jesus, the title "son of a god" was specially, but not exclusively, associated with Emperor Augustus. Later, it was also used to refer to Domitian.[2] There are textual and contextual arguments for and against the translation of the Greek phrase used of Jesus by non-Jewish soldiers in Matthew 27:54 as "the son of God", "a son of God" or "a son of a god".[44]

In 42 BC, Julius Caesar was formally deified as "the divine Julius" (divus Iulius). His adopted son, Octavian (better known by the title "Augustus" given to him 15 years later, in 27 BC) thus became known as "divi Iuli filius" (son of the divine Julius) or simply "divi filius" (son of the Divine One) because of being the adopted son of Julius Caesar.[10] As a daring and unprecedented move, Augustus used this title to advance his political position in the Second Triumvirate, finally overcoming all rivals for power within the Roman state.[10][45]

The word applied to Julius Caesar as deified was "divus", not the distinct word "deus". Thus Augustus called himself "Divi filius", and not "Dei filius".[11] The line between been god and god-like was at times less than clear to the population at large, and Augustus seems to have been aware of the necessity of keeping the ambiguity.[11] However, the subtle semantic distinction was lost outside Rome, where Augustus began to be worshiped as a deity.[46] The inscription DF thus came to be used for Augustus, at times unclear which meaning was intended.[11][46]

The assumption of the title "son of a God" by Augustus meshed with a larger campaign by him to exercise the power of his image. Official portraits of Augustus made even towards the end of his life continued to portray him as a handsome youth, implying that miraculously, he never aged. Given that few people had ever seen the emperor, these images sent a distinct message.[47]

As a purely semantic mechanism, and to maintain ambiguity, the court of Augustus sustained the concept that any worship given to an emperor was paid to the "position of emperor" rather than the person of the emperor.[48] Later, Tiberius (emperor from 14-37 AD) came to be accepted as the son of divus Augustus and Hadrian as the son of divus Trajan.[10] By the end of the 1st century, the emperorDomitian was being called "dominus et deus" i.e. master and god.[49] Outside the Roman Empire, the 2nd century Kushan KingKanishka I used the title devaputra meaning "son of God".[50]

[edit]See also


  1. a b c Introduction to the Science of Religion by Friedrich Muller 2004 ISBN 1-4179-7401-X page 136
  2. a b c Matthew and empire by Warren Carter 2001 ISBN 1-56338-342-X page 69
  3. a b c d e f g h Catholic Encyclopedia: Son of God
  4. a b c One teacher: Jesus' teaching role in Matthew's gospel by John Yueh-Han Yieh 2004 ISBN 3-11-018151-7 pages 240-241
  5. a b Dwight Pentecost The words and works of Jesus Christ2000 ISBN 0-310-30940-9 page 234
  6. a b c d e f g h The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia by Geoffrey W. Bromiley 1988 ISBN 0-8028-3785-9 page 571-572
  7. a b China : a cultural and historical dictionary by Michael Dillon 1998 ISBN 0-7007-0439-6 page 293
  8. a b East Asia: A Cultural, Social, and Political History by Patricia Ebrey, Anne Walthall, James Palais 2008 ISBN 0-547-00534-2 page 16
  9. a b A History of Japan by Hisho Saito 2010 ISBN 0-415-58538-4 page
  10. a b c d Early Christian literature by Helen Rhee 2005 ISBN 0-415-35488-9 pages 159-161
  11. a b c d The world that shaped the New Testament by Calvin J. Roetzel 2002 ISBN 0-664-22415-6 page 73
  12. ^ The second book of the Bible: Exodus by Benno Jacob 1992ISBN 0-88125-028-7 page 105
  13. ^ The latter interpretation was adopted by Christians from the start, as shown in the Acts of the Apostles and the Letter to the Hebrews, and is found also in Jewish tradition (see Jewish Messianic Interpretations of Psalm 2).
  14. ^ Who do you say that I am? Essays on Christology by Jack Dean Kingsbury, Mark Allan Powell, David R. Bauer 1999 ISBN 0-664-25752-6 page xvi
  15. a b Christology and the New Testament Christopher Mark Tuckett 2001 ISBN 0-664-22431-8 page
  16. a b Symbols of Jesus: a Christology of symbolic engagementby Robert C. Neville 2002 ISBN 0-521-00353-9 page 26
  17. a b c Who do you say that I am?: essays on Christology by Jack Dean Dean Kingsbury, Mark Allan Powell, David R. Bauer 1999 ISBN 0-664-25752-6 pages 246-251
  18. ^ Studies in Early Christology by Martin Hengel 2004 ISBN 0-567-04280-4 page 46
  19. ^ Who is Jesus?: an introduction to Christology by Thomas P. Rausch 2003 ISBN 978-0-8146-5078-3 pages 132-133
  20. ^ The Wiersbe Bible Commentary by Warren W. Wiersbe 2007ISBN 978-0-7814-4539-9 page 245
  21. ^ The person of Christ by Gerrit Cornelis Berkouwer 1954 ISBN 0-8028-4816-8 page 163
  22. ^ Jesus God and Man by Wolfhart Pannenberg 1968 ISBN 0-664-24468-8 pages 53-54
  23. ^ Romans 15:6, 2 Corinthians 1:3, 2 Corinthians 11:31, Ephesians 1:3, 1 Peter 1:3, Revelation 1:6
  24. ^ Charles H. H. Scobie The ways of our God: an approach to biblical theology 2003 ISBN 0-8028-4950-4 p136 "God is "the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Rom 15:6; Eph 1:3), but also the Father of all believers (cf. Bassler 1992: 1054-55). Clearly this derives from the usage and teaching of Jesus himself."
  25. ^ Who do you say that I am?: essays on Christology by Jack Dean Dean Kingsbury, Mark Allan Powell, David R. Bauer 1999ISBN 0-664-25752-6 pages 73-75
  26. a b Irenaeus of Lyons by Eric Francis Osborn 2001 ISBN 978-0-521-80006-8 pages 11-114
  27. ^ Readings in the History of Christian Theology by William Carl Placher 1988 ISBN 0-664-24057-7 pages 52-53
  28. a b The Augustine Catechism by Saint Augustine of Hippo 2008 ISBN 1-56548-298-0 page 68
  29. ^ Jesus and the Son of Man by A J B Higgins 2002 ISBN 0-227-17221-3 pages 13-15
  30. ^ Jesus Remembered: Christianity in the Making by James D. G. Dunn (Jul 29, 2003) ISBN 0802839312 pages 724-725
  31. ^ The Son of Man Debate: A History and Evaluation by Delbert Royce Burkett (Jan 28, 2000) Cambridge Univ Press ISBN 0521663067 pages 3-5
  32. ^ Augustine: Later Works by John Burnaby 1980 ISBN 0-664-24165-4 page 326
  33. ^ Lord Jesus Christ by Larry W. Hurtado 2005 ISBN 0-8028-3167-2 page 142
  34. a b The thought of Thomas Aquinas by Brian Davies 1993ISBN 0-19-826753-3 page 204
  35. ^ Jesus: A Brief History by W. Barnes Tatum 2009 ISBN 1-4051-7019-0 page 217
  36. ^ The new encyclopedia of Islam by Cyril Glassé, Huston Smith 2003 ISBN 0-7591-0190-6 page 86
  37. ^ The Noble Quran V.3:59-60
  38. a b c Lepard, Brian D (2008). In The Glory of the Father: The Baha'i Faith and Christianity. Bahá'í Publishing Trust. pp. 74–75. ISBN 1-931847-34-7.
  39. a b Taherzadeh, Adib (1977). The Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh, Volume 2: Adrianople 1863-68. Oxford, UK: George Ronald. pp. 182. ISBN 0-85398-071-3.
  40. ^ Hornby, Helen, ed. (1983). Lights of Guidance: A Bahá'í Reference File. New Delhi, India: Bahá'í Publishing Trust. pp. 491. ISBN 81-85091-46-3.
  41. ^ The Problem of China by Bertrand Russell 2007 ISBN 1-60520-020-4 page 23
  42. ^ Cartledge, Paul (2004). "Alexander the Great". History Today54: 1.
  43. ^ Eerdmans commentary on the Bible James D. G. Dunn, John William Rogerson 2003 ISBN 0-8028-3711-5 page 365
  44. ^ The Gospel of Matthew by R. T. France 2007 ISBN 0-8028-2501-X page 1084
  45. ^ Augustus by Pat Southern 1998 ISBN 0-415-16631-4 page 60
  46. a b A companion to Roman religion edited by Jörg Rüpke2007 ISBN 1-4051-2943-3 page 80
  47. ^ Gardner's art through the ages: the western perspective by Fred S. Kleiner 2008 ISBN 0-495-57355-8 page 175
  48. ^ Experiencing Rome: culture, identity and power in the Roman Empire by Janet Huskinson 1999 ISBN 978-0-415-21284-7page 81
  49. ^ The Emperor Domitian by Brian W. Jones 1992 ISBN 0-415-04229-1 page 108
  50. ^ Encyclopedia of ancient Asian civilizations by Charles Higham 2004 ISBN 978-0-8160-4640-9 page 352



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Messiah (18)

Coin of Bar Kochba, showing the Temple with a star on the roof and the Ark of the Covenant. British Museum, London (Britain). Photo Jona Lendering.
 Coin of Simon ben Kosiba, showing the Temple with the Messianic star on the roof and the Ark of the Covenant inside (British Museum)

The Hebrew word mâšîah means 'anointed one' and may  indicate Jewish priests, prophets and  kings. During the sixth century BCE, the exiled Jews in Babylonia started to hope for a special Anointed One who was to bring them home; several written prophecies were fulfilled when the Persian king Cyrus the Great did in fact allow them to return. In the second century BCE, the Jews were again suffering from repression, and the old prophecies became relevant again. Some people were looking forward to a military leader who would defeat the Seleucid or Roman enemies and establish an independent Jewish kingdom; others, like the author of the Psalms of Solomon, stated that the Messiah was a charismatic teacher who gave the correct interpretation of Mosaic law, was to restore Israel and would judge mankind. Jesus of Nazareth was considered a Messiah; a century later,Simon bar Kochba. The idea of an eschatological king has been present in Judaism ever since.
The Messianic Psalms 
Micah and Isaiah 
From Josiah to Cyrus 
The Maccabaean revolt 
The Messiah as military leader 
The Messiah as sage 
The Messiah as high-priest 
The 'prophet like Moses' 
Balaam's prophecy 
The 'son of'-titles 
Other titles 
The two Messiahs of Qumran 
Messianic expectations 
Catastrophic messianism 
The eschatological king 
From Messiah to Christ

Later developments: from Messiah to Christ

As we have seen in the preceding chapters, until the end of the first century CE, there is no evidence that the Messiah was ever considered a superhuman being. This must be stressed, because it is often said that the Messiah was some sort of demi-god; those who say so, define Jewish messianism in terms of Christian theology.

It is likely that the idea that the Messiah was a superhuman being is a Christian innovation. The Gospel of Mark calls Jesus the 'son of God', a title that had probably not been used to describe the Messiah before, and John'sGospel opens with the famous hymn that

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God; all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. [...] And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father.
[John 1.1-14]
The incarnated Word is of course Jesus of Nazareth, who is, in other words, not only the son of God, but is God. How these conflicting statements -Jesus as God and as son of God, Jesus as divine and human- could be harmonized, was the subject of an intense christological debate that culminated in the discussion on the Creed of Nicaea (325).

For this development is not a single antecedent in the Jewish literature. However, two texts from Qumran suggest otherwise.

  1. 4Q246 seems to describe a 'son of God'. However, as we have already seen, it is not likely that this was a messianic text at all. The title that Mark uses to describe the Messiah, is unique. It may, however be added that the way he used the title is not unique. He describes Jesus seven times as 'son of God' (once in the title of the gospel and six times in other people's mouths) but never in the narrative. The indirect way of using this title can also be found in a romance called Joseph and Aseneth, where Joseph is indirectly called 'son of God'.
  2. The two additional hymns on the Thanksgiving-scroll, written in the last quarter of the first century BCE, can be read as if the Messiah has suffered on earth, has died an is now in heaven, higher than the angels; the Messiah will one day come to judge mankind (go here for discussion). This antedates Christianity with at least half a century, and it is possible that these ideas about a superhuman Messiah have influenced christology. However, contact between the Qumran sect and the disciples of Jesus can not be proven; moreover, the ideas in these two hymns are exceptional.
We may therefore assume that the idea that the Messiah was a superhuman being, is a Christian innovation, although there may be one or two antecedents.

Another innovation is the link between messianism and apocalypticism. In the fifties, this can be found in the epistles of Paul; in the last quarter of the first century in the gospels and in the nineties in the Book of Revelation. It is possible that there was a parallel development in the Jewish world; the Book of similitudes (a part of the First book of Enoch) interprets the apocalypticBook of Daniel in a messianic way, but we do not known when theSimilitudes were composed.

Summarizing, we can say that christology was a revolutionary innovation within messianology. It introduced the superhuman status of the Messiah and the idea that he was one of the actors in the apocalyptic drama. Both ideas may not have been completely new, but if they were already present in Judaism, they were extremely rare.

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