Son of God (Part 6)

2 Peter 1:17 – “For he (Jesus) received honor and glory from God, the Father, when the voice came to him from the majestic Glory saying, ‘This is my son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.’ “

This is Peter’s recollection of the transfiguration event recorded in the synoptic gospels. I have already dealt with this in Part 2 of this study, so please go there to see what I said about this. There is one aspect of this event that I did not deal with in Part 2 but will address here. It is often asserted by Trinitarians that the transfiguration was a revelation to the three apostles present, of the deity of Jesus the son of God. It is as if the humanity which was concealing his deity was pealed back to expose the true nature of Jesus, and so they beheld the glory of his deity. The voice then speaks saying, “this is my son,” hence this is God the Father speaking of God the Son. But is this a tenable conclusion? I think this reasoning has some problems.

First, none of the gospel writers tell their readers that this is what they are supposed to think about this event. They simply describe that Jesus was transformed in his appearance and his clothes became dazzling white. They do not give us their opinion as to the meaning of this event. Second, they do not record that the apostles drew this conclusion from what they saw. In fact, if this was supposed to be the defining moment when the true identity of the son, i.e. his deity, was made known to his disciples, it does not seem to me that they got the message. Here is, supposedly, God the Son, in all his divine glory, standing before them, and yet they do not fall to the ground on their faces and worship him. The only reaction of the apostles that we are told about is Peter’s strange suggestion to erect three shelters, one for Jesus, and one each for Moses and Elijah, who had appeared with Jesus. Peter addresses Jesus as ‘Rabbi’ in Mark’s account ( Matthew has ‘lord’ and Luke has ‘master’, showing that all three titles were synonyms for a ‘Teacher’) which is a strange way to address someone you think is God. In Peter’s own recollection of this event, in his second epistle, he does not characterize it as a revelation of Jesus’ deity, but rather as a revelation of the majesty that will be his at his coming {2 Peter 1:16; see also Matt. 16:28}.

I would also note, that in Matthew’s account, as Jesus and the three disciples are descending the mountain, he tells them to “tell no one the vision … .” The word for vision here is the same word used throughout the book of Acts to denote supernatural visions, e.g. Paul’s vision of Ananias coming to him (9:12), Peter’s vision of the sheet filled with unclean animals (10:9-19), and Paul’s vision of the man from Macedonia (16:9-10). In the three examples above it should be noted that the things being seen in those visions were not literally happening. This seems to be the nature of at least some visions. This is confirmed further in Acts 12 when Peter is miraculously set free from prison by an angel. Luke tells us in verse 9, “(Peter) had no idea that what the angel was doing was really happening; he thought he was seeing a vision.” Perhaps with the disciples at the transfiguration the case was the opposite, i.e. maybe they thought the vision they were seeing was really happening, but it wasn’t.

Hence , to reach the conclusion from the transfiguration event, that Jesus is God, because of what the disciples saw, is to read into the text one’s preconceived notions. The only reason one would draw such a conclusion is if he already believed Jesus to be God in human flesh.

1 John 1:3 – “We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also might have fellowship with us. And this fellowship of ours — with the Father and with His son Jesus Messiah.”

The main problem here is that most exegetes see the prologue of 1 John, verses 1-4 of chapter 1, as a reference to the incarnation of God the Son. This is simply reading into this first century text an idea that developed later and so could not have been in the author’s mind when writing it. I believe what John is really telling his readers about is his and the other apostles’ firsthand experience of the resurrection of Jesus from among the dead. The resurrection of Messiah is the manifestation and realization of God’s promise of everlasting life for humanity. As the first to be raised to immortality, Jesus’ resurrection confirms God’s word of promise and guarantees immortality to all who are in association with him. Let’s go through the prologue to see the apostle’s thought process.

Verse one starts, “That which was from the beginning … .” John does not say ‘He who’, but uses the neuter pronoun, ‘That which.’ John is not speaking of a person here (a supposed eternally begotten son) but of an impersonal thing. What is that thing? He tells us at the end of verse one – the word of life. Now what is the ‘word of life?’ Despite what Christian teachers have been saying since the middle of the 2nd century (that the Word or Logos equals a personal being, a concept adopted by early Christian philosophers, like Justin Martyr, from Philo and early Christian gnostics), the ‘word‘ in John’s writings  means what it had always meant to a Jew – what God had spoken through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures. The ‘word of life’ is God’s promise of everlasting life (immortality) , “… which God, who does not lie, promised in times long ago … ” {Titus 1:2}. John says, “That which was from the beginning.” This is a much abused phrase in the NT and is usually interpreted as meaning ‘before the world began.’ But this is an impossiple meaning. The Greek is ‘apo arche’ and is correctly translated “from the beginning.” The word ‘apo‘ is a preposition denoting separation, of motion away from, and in relation to time (as in our text) means from a point of time forward. In most instances of time it can be translated ‘since,’ and so in our text, “That which was since the beginning.” The word never means ‘before’ a point in time, but ‘after.’ John is not referring to eternity past here but to time after or since the beginning. But what beginning is John talking? He uses this phrase several times in his writings and the context must determine what beginning is being referred to. In 2:7 & 24, and 3:11 it refers to the time of his readers’ reception of the gospel. In 3:8 and in John 8:44 it refers to the beginning of human history, as recorded in Genesis. In our text, I believe John is referring to the beginning of God’s promise to man to send the redeemer to deliver man from the consequences of his sin, which is death {see Gen. 3:15}. So then that which was from the beginning is God’s word or promise of redemption from death.

John goes on in verse one to relate the personal experience of himself and the other apostles as eyewitnesses of the resurrection of Jesus to immortality. John’s point is that that event confirms and makes certain God’s promise to mankind; Jesus being the first man to obtain immortality, becomes the source of immortality to all who are in association with him. As Paul declared:

“But in fact, Messiah has been raised out from the dead, the first-fruit of those who have fallen asleep (i.e. died). For since death came by a man (Adam), by a man (Jesus) also comes the resurrection of the dead. For just as in Adam all die, likewise also in Messiah all will be made alive. But each one in his proper order; Messiah , the first-fruit, then those in association with Messiah, at his coming.  1 Cor. 15:20-23

In verse two John goes on to say that this gift of eternal life (i.e. immortality) was made manifest or actually realized. How? In the resurrection of Messiah, not in some supposed incarnation. This grace of immortality was with the Father, in His plan and purpose for man, and was made manifest to the apostles in Messiah’s resurrection.

Then in our text John declares that God’s intention for men is that they “have fellowship” with Him and with His son, Jesus Messiah. I suspect that most Christians understand ‘fellowship‘ simply as ‘communion with.’ But I think something more profound is being said here. The Greek is ‘koinonia’ and can also mean a joint-participation, a sharing together in. What has God called us to share or participate in with Himself and with His son? Just what John has been talking about — everlasting life. Scripture tells us that God “alone possesses immortality” {1 Tim. 6:16}. At the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, he became the first human to receive the gift of immortality i.e. he was the first to participate with the Father in everlasting life. Now, through Jesus, he calls us to participate in the same along with His son. The apostle Peter also speaks of this intention of God for us:

” … He has given us those precious and very great promises, so that through them you might become joint-partakers (koinonoi) of the divine nature (i.e. immortality), escaping the corruption (of death) which is in the world by means of a forbidden desire.”  2 Peter 1:4

1 John 1:7“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his son, cleanses us from every sin.”

There is not much that needs to be said concerning this verse. Certainly there is nothing in the verse that would demand an understanding of the ‘son’ commensurate with that of the orthodox creeds. I will only point out that John is referring to Jesus, of Nazareth, the man, as “His son,” and not some ‘eternally begotten’ being.

1 John 2:22-25 – “Who is the liar if not the one denying that Jesus is the Messiah? This one is the antichrist – the one denying the Father and the son. Everyone denying the son does not have the Father. The one confessing the son has the Father also. See to it that what you heard from the beginning remains in you. If what you heard from the beginning remains in you , you will also remain in the son and in the Father. And this is what he has promised us – life everlasting.”

John tells us who, among those who profess to know God, are actually liars. Please note that he does not say that the liar is the one who denies that Jesus is Yahweh, the God of Israel, but rather the one denying that Jesus is the Messiah. As I established in the post CHRIST: Title of Divinity?, the biblical concept of the Messiah (= Christ) in no way requires deity in the one bearing the title; it is not a title given to heavenly beings but to men. In the OT the Messiah was ‘the LORD’s anointed’, the one chosen from the line of David to sit on Yahweh’s throne and rule over His kingdom. Of this one God said, “I have chosen him to be my son, and I will be his father” {1 Chron. 28:5-6}. Jesus is the final and ideal chosen one from the line of David and as such he is God’s son.

Again when John says, “Everyone denying the son does not have the Father,” he does not mean denying that the son is God. This refers back to the first statement. To deny that Jesus is the Messiah is to deny the son, since in biblical theology the Messiah and the ‘son’ are identical in role and function. Now John is most likely saying this in reference to the Jews, who profess to know God but reject the one whom he chose to rule over them. It is impossible to have the Father while rejecting the one he chose to be his son. To reject the son is in effect to reject the one who sent him {see Luke 10:16; Matt 10:40}. Since the Messiah, Jesus, has come , it is no longer sufficient for a descendant of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to acknowledge God only, for now Israel is reckoned in the Messiah and faithful allegiance to Jesus as the Lord’s anointed one is requisite.

1 John 3:8 – “Unto this end the son of God appeared, that he might overthrow the works of the devil.”

Now, lest anyone should assume that only a divine son of God could accomplish such a task let me remind you of what the writer of Hebrews said:

“Therefore, since the children have been partakers of flesh and blood, he (Jesus), in the same way, partook of the same (flesh and blood), so that through death he might bring to naught the one holding the power of death, that is, the devil.”  Heb. 2:14

1 John 3:23 – “And this is his command, that we should believe in the name of his son, Jesus Messiah … .”

To believe in the name of his son is to acknowledge the position of authority and honor that God has bestowed on him and to give him your faithful allegiance. This is God’s command to all men, Jews and gentiles.

1 John 4:9-10“In this the love of God has been made manifest among us, that he sent his one of a kind son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his son, a propitiation for our sins.”

Most commentators, if not all, see the concept of God sending his son into the world, as a testimony to the son’s deity – he was in heaven and the Father sent him to earth. But if this language were meant to imply that Jesus was sent from heaven to earth, that in itself is no proof of his deity. The most it could prove is that he pre-existed, perhaps as an angel or perhaps as some other created heavenly being. But in fact, this language does not at all necessitate the idea that Jesus was sent from heaven. This is simply the language of agency. That one is ‘sent’ from God simply means that he is commissioned by God to accomplish a task. This is evident concerning John the Baptizer:

“There was a man who had been sent from God; his name, John.   John 1:6

That this language, as applied to Jesus, does not require us to understand that he came from heaven, is confirmed in the following passages from John’s gospel:

“Jesus said (to his apostles) … Just as the Father has sent me, I also send you. John 20:21

And in his prayer to the Father he said,

Just as you sent me into the world, even so I have sent them (the apostles) into the world.  John 17:18

These verses should end any and all debate as to the ‘sending’ language found in the NT regarding Jesus.

Please indulge me while I ride this horse a little longer. Someone will surely bring up John 6, where at least six times between verses 32 and 58, it is stated that Jesus came down from heaven. Now I too, for some 35 years, had believed that these verses were literally telling us that Jesus came down from heaven to be born to a young Jewish virgin. Hence, he clearly pre-existed in heaven. This fit well with my belief in the Trinity and deity of Christ. But what I had failed to see was that at the most, taken literally, these verses could only prove Jesus pre-existed, but not that he was God. These verses could also support Arianism or an Angel Christology. But what I also failed to see was that this whole passage is replete with metaphors. Actually I did recognize some of the metaphors, e.g. in verse 35 Jesus says he is the ‘bread of life’ and that anyone who comes to him and believes in him ‘will never go hungry’ and ‘will never be thirsty.’ In verses 53-54 he speaks of ‘eating his flesh’ and ‘drinking his blood.’ In verse 55 his ‘flesh is real food’ and his ‘blood is real drink.’ As a Protestant evangelical I easily  recognized the folly of the Roman Catholic church’s literal exegesis of the eating his flesh and drinking his blood metaphor but was blind to Jesus’ use of the idiom of coming down from heaven. In the thinking of first century Jews, something that was in the plan and purpose of God was thought to be with God in heaven, not in literal existence, but in ideal existence; it was in God’s mind and intention. When that thing which was in God’s mind and intention became an actual reality in the world, it could be spoken of as having come down from heaven. We find confirmation of this concept in the book of James:

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father … ”  James 1:17

Jesus once put this question to the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem,

“John’s baptism — from where did it come? From heaven or from men?”  Matt. 21:25

Another verse I used to take literally because I did not understand the idiom is in Revelation:

“I saw the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God … ” Rev. 21:2

I now understand that the New Jerusalem does not literally come down from heaven but is so spoken about because that Holy city has been in God’s mind and intention from the foundation of the world. This language signifies the realization of that intention in the real world. Isaiah 54 and 60 are prophecies about the future city of Jerusalem in the kingdom age. Much of the language found in Revelation 21 is drawn from these two chapters, but what is not found there is the idea that the New Jerusalem (NJ) descends out of heaven. In fact, in 54:11 the NJ is the old Jerusalem, the afflicted city, rebuilt. In 60:10 we are told that “Foreigners will rebuild your walls … ” The ancient prophecies depict the NJ as being rebuilt during the future kingdom age, when Messiah Jesus comes to reign, not as some totally different city with no connection to the old city, coming down out of the sky.

Now back to John 6, there is one other issue regarding this ‘coming down from heaven’ language that I want to point out. In verses 50 – 51 we read:

“But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which one may eat and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven … this bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”

Now as a Trinitarian, I never understood Jesus’ flesh to have pre-existed in heaven prior to his incarnation. I understood the incarnation as the Son of God, or rather God the Son, coming down from heaven and taking up residence in the body prepared for him in Mary’s womb. But if one takes the language of ‘coming down from heaven’ literally, then he is forced by the Scripture to believe Jesus’ flesh was actually in heaven prior to the incarnation. But is this what Orthodox Trinitarianism teaches? So if a Trinitarian wants to take the idiom literally and use that as a proof text for the deity of Jesus, then he necessarily involves himself in a contradiction with his own belief system.

1 John 4:14-15 – “And we (the apostles) have seen and testify that the Father has sent the son, the Savior of the world. Whoever should openly declare that Jesus is the son of God, God is remaining in him and he in God.”

Verse 14 is practically synonymous with verse 9, and so “Savior of the world” is parallel to “so that we might live through him.” In other words, what he came to save us from is death, i.e. by conquering death and guaranteeing immortality to all who openly declare him (out of a true conviction of the heart) to be the son of God. Now Trinitarians just read this as “whoever confesses that Jesus is fully God,” but that is simply reading into the text ones presupposition. I have already clearly established the biblical theology of ‘son of God’ in Part 1 of this study, so I will only say here that the title, in Scripture, is not synonymous with the ‘God the Son’ of orthodoxy. As professor Colin Brown of Fuller Theological Seminary wrote in Volume 7 of the theological journal Ex Auditu, The title ‘Son of God’ is not in itself a designation of personal deity or an expression of metaphysical distinctions within the Godhead. Indeed to be a ‘Son of God’ one has to be a being who is not God.”

Now with respect to Jesus being called ‘Savior,’ it is asserted by Trinitarian apologists that this is proof of his deity. How so? Because God is called the Savior in the OT and Jesus is called the Savior in the NT, therefore Jesus must be God. In fact we even have this declaration by God Himself:

“I, even I, am Yahweh, and apart from me there is no savior.”  Isaiah 43:11

But is this argument legitimate? No, rather it is quite tenuous and shallow. How so? Because it fails to take into account a precedent  established in God’s dealings with Israel, his covenant nation. Yes, over and over again God declared himself Israel’s Savior. But what must be understood is that he often saved them by raising up a human agent, through whom He accomplished their salvation. In these cases God was the actual savior; the human agent was the instrument through whom he saved them. In these cases the title of ‘savior’ transferred to the human agent. The following passages contain the same Hebrew word for ‘savior found in the Isaiah 43 :11 passage:

“About this time tomorrow I will send you a man from the land of Benjamin. Anoint him leader of my people Israel, that he may be the savior of my people  from the hand of the Philistines.”  1 Sam. 9:16

In the book of Judges we read this:

“But when they cried out to Yahweh, he raised up for them a savior, Othniel …” 3:9

“Again the Israelites cried out to Yahweh and he gave them a savior, Ehud …” 3:15

This happens over and over again throughout Judges. The way the author of Judges summarizes this is as follows:

“Whenever Yahweh raised up a judge for them, he was with the judge and saved them out of the hands of their enemies as long as the judge lived.”  2:18, see also Neh.9:27

We see that God was the one saving Israel, by means of the judge whom he raised up. Other OT passages which present this concept are 2Kings 13:5, Isaiah 19:20, and Obadiah 1:21.

The Isaiah 43 passage says “apart from me there is no savior,” but this does not preclude the use of human agents who act in the role of savior. None of the saviors that God raised up were “apart” from him; they were appointed to their task and sent by God.

Now we can see how this concept carries forward into the NT, where Jesus is called our Savior. Our salvation from sin and death is all of God — it is all his doing, but he does it through the man whom he raised up and commissioned to carry it out, Jesus Messiah our Lord. It is God who willed and planned our redemption, God who conceived Jesus in the womb of Mary, God who presented Messiah as a sacrifice, God who raised him from the dead, God who exalted and glorified Jesus, God who will send him back to complete our redemption, and God who will rule the world through Messiah Jesus. The whole NT pictures God as the active cause of our salvation and Jesus as the instrument through whom he does it. Paul sums up this picture nicely:

“All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself by means of Christ … God was reconciling the world to himself  in Christ.  2 Cor. 5:18-19

Therefore, the fact that both God and his son are called Savior in the NT does not mean they are numerically the same being.

1 John 5:5 – “Who is the one who overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the son of God.

Again, belief that Jesus is the son of God, in accordance with biblical theology, is belief that Jesus is the Messiah, the one chosen from the line of David to rule over God’s kingdom forever.

1 John 5:9-13 – “If we accept the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater because it is the testimony of God, that he has testified concerning his son. The one who believes in the son of God has the testimony in himself; the one who does not believe God has made him a liar because he has not believed the testimony God has given concerning his son. And this is the testimony: God has given us everlasting life and this life is in his son. The one who has the son has this life; the one who does not have the son does not have this life. I have written these things to you, the ones believing in the name of the son of God, so that you may know that you have everlasting life.

The language of John here is decidedly against the traditional view of the son of God as a second person within the Godhead. John does not speak of the Father and his son, but of God and his son. At no time, either in this passage or in any of his writings, does John refer to God the Son.  For John there is God and there is the son of God, and they are numerically distinct beings; they are never confused.

Again, according to biblical theology ‘son of God’ = Messiah = son of David = king of Israel. This is who Jesus is. This is what God has testified to in the Scriptures, and in the birth, the life and ministry, the death, the resurrection, and the exaltation of the man Jesus.  Just as in the one man, Adam, all die, so in the one man, Jesus the Messiah, all will have everlasting life {see 1 Cor. 15:21-22}.

1 John 5:20“And we know that the son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we might know the One who is true. And we are in the One who is true through his son, Jesus Messiah. He is the true God and everlasting life.”

This verse is often used by Trinitarian apologists as a proof text for the belief that Jesus is included in the Godhead. They say that the pronoun ‘He’ in the final clause refers back to the nearest antecedent, which is ‘Jesus Messiah’, and so John is supposedly telling his readers that Jesus is the ‘true God.’ Also, whoever is being referred to in the last clause, is being called ‘everlasting life,’ and because Jesus is called ‘the life’ a few times in John’s gospel, it is asserted that the whole final clause is a reference to the ‘son.’ But is this reasoning sound?

First of all, it should be noted that there are Trinitarian commentators, among whom are MacLaren, Meyer, Lange, and Ellicott, who think the words refer to God, the Father, and not to the son. Secondly, as I said on the previous verse, John, throughout this epistle, always makes a clear distinction between, not just the Father and the son, but between God and his son, as even Meyer notes. Thirdly, it is not necessary that a pronoun refer back to the nearest antecedent. For example, in 2:22 of this same epistle, Jesus would be the antichrist if this were not the case. Fourthly, the flow of thought requires that the ‘He’ or ‘This one’ in the final clause, refer to ‘the One who is true’ in the previous verse. The phrase ‘in his son, Jesus Messiah’ is parenthetical and explanatory of how we are ‘in the One who is true.’ Fifthly, it would be strange for John, having recorded in his gospel the words of Jesus in prayer to the Father, ” … you, the only true God … ,” to then in this epistle designate someone other than the Father as the true God. If the Father is the ‘only‘ (Gr. monos = sole, alone, only) true God how can the son be true God. Sixthly, God is the true source of all life and of the everlasting life (immortality) promised to those who love him. The son is the instrumental means by which we receive that life. Even Jesus’ life is derived from the Father:

“For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the son to have life in himself.”  John 5:26

“Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me.”  John 6:57

“For to be sure, he (Messiah) was crucified in weakness, yet he lives by God’s power.  2 Cor. 13:4

So when the Scriptures refer to Jesus as ‘the life’ it does not mean he is the ultimate source of life, but the means by which men obtain life from God {see 1 John 5:11}.

2 John 1:3 – “Grace, mercy and peace from God, the Father, and from Jesus Messiah, the Father’s son …”

Nothing here about an eternal son who is of one substance with the Father. The simplest way to read this is that the Father’s son is the man Jesus Christ {see 1 Tim. 2:5}.

2 John 1:9 – “Anyone going beyond and not remaining in the teaching of the Messiah does not have God; the one continuing in the teaching has both the Father and the son.”

Again, nothing here necessitates an understanding of the ‘son’ beyond that of the Hebraic concept found in the Hebrew Scriptures. Beware of going beyond the teaching of the Messiah.

Revelation 2:18 – ” … These are the words of the son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze.”

There is nothing particular in this passage which would demand us to see the ‘Son of God’ as anything other than purely human. But someone might suggest that the description of the ‘son of God’ here is more fitting of deity than of a man. Let me offer a word of caution. The book of Revelation is filled with symbolic imagery, as is this description of the ‘son.’ This description of Jesus here is an abridgement of the fuller description found at 1:12-16. Again, that passage is replete with symbolism, some of which is interpreted for us, some of which is not. I think it should be clear to all that the description is not to be taken literally, unless you want to believe that Jesus is literally holding seven stars in his hand and literally has a sword coming out if his mouth. In fact, the seven stars imagery is interpreted for us at 1:20 to be angels or messengers. Most of the symbolism is left uninterpreted in the text and so must be surmised. But the point is that this is not a description of what Jesus literally looks like. So to use this description of the ‘son‘ to prove the deity of the ‘son‘ is sketchy at best.

Conclusion

So I have shown the biblical Hebraic concept of ‘son of God’ from the Hebrew Scriptures — the one from the line of David, chosen to sit on Yahweh’s throne and rule on Yahweh’s behalf over Yahweh’s kingdom. We then went into the NT and looked at every passage in which Jesus is referred to by that title. We have seen that the Hebraic understanding carries forward into the NT picture of Jesus with ease and that the ‘orthodox’ conception of the ‘son’ does not fit well in many passages. My contention is this — the Hebraic conception was jettisoned early on in the history of the church under the influence of the burgeoning philosophical systems of the day. The distinctly Hebraic conception of God and his son were consciously discarded in favor of Neo-Platonic and even gnostic ideas. I call for a return to the true roots of the faith as found in the Hebrew Scriptures.

If this series of posts on Son of God has benefitted you, please let me know, either by commenting on the blog or by contacting me by email. Thankyou.

 

 

 

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Author: Troy Salinger

I am 55 yrs. old. I live with my wife of 32 yrs. in Picayune MS. I have been a believer in the Lord Jesus since August of 1981. I have no formal theological education, but have been an ardent student of Scripture for 36 yrs. I am a biblical Unitarian i.e. I believe the Father is the only true God (John 17:3) and Jesus is His human Son, the Messiah.

2 thoughts on “Son of God (Part 6)”

  1. Thanks again, Troy, for your detailed study regarding the meaning of “the Son of God.” I had also recently finished reading D.A. Carson’s short book, _Jesus the Son of God_. In it, he recognizes several ways (including the ones you mentioned) in which the term “Son of God” is applied to Jesus. A problem with seeing so many meanings for “son of God” is that the meanings become hard to track, and can seem a little arbitrary. I am intrigued by how your definition and explanation of the term coheres, and makes sense of many passages.

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    1. Hi Paul, thanks for your comments and your interest in the blog. If you consider the material to be beneficial please let others know about the blog. My whole point in the ‘Son of God’ series is to show that if we have a perfectly unambiguous and workable definition of a NT concept, in the OT, why do we need to go outside of Scripture, and especially to pagan philosophy, to find it’s meaning. The NT is the continuation and fulfillment of the OT, which is the foundation, and not a new religion.

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