[20]:36–38 The Jewish philosopher Philo is known to have likened God to a supreme king, rather than likening Jewish kings to gods.[24]. When, however, it is applied to Him by others, He accepts it in such a way as to assert His claim to it. Alleged Equivalence to Messiah--Personal Sense Implied: It has been contended, not without plausibility, that for Jesus Himself the source of the title may have been the employment of it in the voice from heaven at His Baptism, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" (Matthew 3:17). It is debated if this figure represents the royal messiah, a future evil gentile king or something else. There is a Johannine flavor in these words, and they reveal an intimacy of the Son with the Father, as well as a power over all things, which could not have been conferred by mere official appointment, unless there had been in the background a natural position warranting the official standing. Nevertheless, the Son does nothing of Himself, but only what He hath seen the Father do (John 5:19); and only that which He hath heard of the Father does He speak (John 14:10). Given that few people had ever seen the emperor, these images sent a distinct message. In Exodus, the nation of Israel is called God's "Firstborn son". Nontrinitarian Christians accept the application to Jesus of the term "Son of God", which is found in the New Testament. [30] 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. [20]:36 Nevertheless, in the first four dynasties, the pharaoh was considered to be the embodiment of a god. Découvrez comment nous utilisons vos informations dans notre Politique relative à la vie privée et notre Politique relative aux cookies. ); and, if this was the sense in which the prince of devils made use of the phrase, we may conclude that in the mouths of the demoniacs who hailed Jesus by the same title it must have had the same meaning. and, when He replies in the affirmative, they require no further witness (Luke 22:67-71), Matthew informing us that the high priest hereupon rent his garments, and they all agreed that He had spoken blasphemy and was worthy of death (Matthew 26:65). The son of Panammuwa II a king of Sam'al referred to himself as a son of Rakib. This leader was referred to as a son of God. 5. By these words, it is usually assumed, He was designated as the Messiah; but in the adjective "beloved," and the words "in whom I am well pleased," there is something personal, beyond the merely official recognition. [60]:43 The choice of Ephraim as the lineage of the messianic figure described in the text seems to draw on passages in Jeremiah, Zechariah and Hosea. [34], Outside the Roman Empire, the 2nd-century Kushan King Kanishka I used the title devaputra meaning "son of God". [5][6] Angels, just and pious men, and the kings of Israel are all called "sons of God."[7]. As a pagan this soldier might be thinking of Jesus as one of those heroes, born of human mothers but divine fathers, of whom the mythology of his country had so much to tell (compare the margin). The same may be said of the voice from heaven in the scene of the Transfiguration. He further calls Himself the "only begotten Son of God" (3:16,18), that is to say, He is Son in a sense in which no others can claim the title. For this the authority of Paul is often assumed to be responsible; but there was a prior and higher authority. [16] The Emperor of Japan was also called the Son of Heaven (天子 tenshi) starting in the early 7th century. 天子 (from 天 meaning sky/heaven/god and 子 meaning child) was first used in the Western Zhou dynasty (c. 1000 BC). It was when Jesus affirmed this also that their angry astonishment knew no bounds, and their sentence was immediate and capital. His adopted son, Octavian (better known as Augustus, a title 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 god). While the title "the Son of man" is always, except once, applied by Jesus to Himself, "the Son of God" is never applied by Jesus to Himself in the Synoptists. Thus Augustus called himself Divi filius, and not Dei filius. In Greek mythology, Heracles (son of Zeus) and many other figures were considered to be sons of gods through union with mortal women. [47] As in Christianity, Islam believes Jesus had no earthly father. Four planes of being and of knowledge are specified--that of men, that of angels, that of Himself, and that of God. [38] 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.[36]. [52], Although references to "sons of God", "son of God" and "son of the LORD" are occasionally found in Jewish literature, they never refer to physical descent from God. [57][58] It is a tablet described as a "Dead Sea scroll in stone". In Luke 1:35, the following reason for its use is given, "The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee: wherefore also the holy thing which is begotten shall be called the Son of God." Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing … Historically, many rulers have assumed titles such as son of God, son of a god or son of heaven. Here Jesus is not only called "the Son of God" by others, but applies the title to Himself in its full shape, as well as in the abbreviated form of "the Son." But scholarship cannot take this for granted; and, indeed, it requires only a hasty glance at the facts to bring this home even to the general reader, because in Scripture the title is bestowed on a variety of persons for a variety of reasons. Orr, James, M.A., D.D. '; but is not the scene much more intelligible if the boldness of His answer to the first question suggested that He was making a still higher claim than to be the Christ, and that their second question applied to this? But for this there is no ground whatever; the passage is the climax of the Gospel in which it occurs, in the same way as the confession of Thomas is the climax of the Gospel of Jn; and to remove it would be an intolerable mutilation. [60]:45 The text seems to refer to Jeremiah Chapter 31. [65], In both Joseph and Aseneth and the related text The Story of Asenath, Joseph is referred to as the son of God. [30][32] The assumption of the title Divi filius by Augustus meshed with a larger campaign by him to exercise the power of his image. In Islam, Jesus is known as Īsā ibn Maryam (Arabic: عيسى بن مريم‎, lit. Between a dog and a man there may be deep sympathy, yet it is limited by the difference of their natures; whereas between a woman and a man there is perfect sympathy, because they are identical in nature. [26] However, his son the king Bar-Rakib was not a native of Damascus but rather the ruler of Sam'al it is unknown if other rules of Sam'al used similar language. Please enter your email address associated with your Salem All-Pass account, then click Continue. That is to say, Jesus was the Messiah because He was the Son of God. Proud member Matthew 28:19 ESV / 13 helpful votes. From around 360 BC onwards Alexander the Great may have implied he was a demigod by using the title "Son of Ammon–Zeus". [11] As applied to Jesus, the term is a reference to his role as the Messiah, or Christ, the King chosen by God [12] (Matthew 26:63). Milton, in Paradise Regained, makes Satan become aware of the voice from heaven at the Baptism; but this is also implied in the terms with which he approached Him in the Temptation in the wilderness, "If thou art the Son of God" (Matthew 4:3, etc. [30] 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. of Jesus is explicitly and implicitly described as the Son of God by himself and by various individuals who appear in the New Testament. The Hebrew expression "son of man" (בן–אדם, ben-'adam) appears 107 times in the Hebrew Bible, the majority (93 times) in the Book of Ezekiel. [1], The term "son of God" is used in the Hebrew Bible as another way of referring to humans with special relationships with God. Copyright © 2020, Bible Study Tools. First, it is applied to angels, as when in Job 2:1 it is said that "the sons of God came to present themselves before Yahweh"; they may be so called because they are the creatures of God's hands or because, as spiritual beings, they resemble God, who is a spirit. Author has 332 answers and 42.6K answer views. [19], Examples of kings being considered the son of god are found throughout the Ancient Near East. Egypt in particular developed a long lasting tradition. H. J. Holtzmann and others have attempted to make light of this, and even to speak of the opening words of the Lord's Prayer, "Our Father who art in heaven," as if Jesus might have uttered them in company with the disciples; but the distinction is a vital one, and we do not agree with those who can believe that Jesus could have uttered, for Himself along with others, the whole of the Lord's Prayer, including the petition, "Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.". [60]:47, In some versions of Deuteronomy the Dead Sea Scrolls refer to the sons of God rather than the sons of Israel, probably in reference to angels. [64] The passage is based on Psalm 82. [48] God (Allah) ordered[44] the angel Jibrīl (Gabriel) to "blow"[49] the soul of Jesus into Mary[50][51] and so she gave birth to Jesus. Later still, the closest Egypt came to the Jewish variant of theocracy was during the reign of Herihor. [53] In Judaism the term mashiach has a broader meaning and usage and can refer to a wide range of people and objects, not necessarily related to the Jewish eschaton. [28] By the end of the 1st century, the emperor Domitian was being called dominus et deus (i.e. 1915. Another feature of Sonship in the Fourth Gospel is preexistence, though, strange to say, this is more than once connected with the title "Son of man." It may be questioned whether it was blasphemy merely to claim to be the Messiah; but it was rank and undeniable blasphemy to claim to be the Son of God. Throughout history, emperors and rulers ranging from the Western Zhou dynasty (c. 1000 BC) in China to Alexander the Great (c. 360 BC) to the Emperor of Japan (c. 600 AD) have assumed titles that reflect a filial relationship with deities. Rather, prayers concerning the king are addressed directly to god. There is a saying of Jesus (Mark 13:32) about His own Sonship which may seem to refute the church doctrine on the subject, as in it He confesses ignorance of the date of His Second Coming: "Of that day or that hour knoweth no one, not even the angels in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father."

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