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What does "Son of God" mean?

Discussion in 'Nontrinitarian DIR' started by Breathe, Oct 11, 2008.

  1. Breathe

    Breathe Hostis humani generis

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    What do you take Jesus meaning 'Son of God' to mean?
    Why?

    Personally, I believe 'son of God' means 'prophet', because I believe 'son' is used in a metaphorical sense, as though 'sons of the household' means servants of the house, so why not servant of God to mean prophet (or holy man, religious man, etc)?

    Anyway, that's enough about what I think on the matter. Can you explain how you believe Jesus was the 'Son' of God? Literally, metaphorically? How?


    Thanks all!
    Odion :)
     
  2. Lucian

    Lucian Theologian

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    I believe Son of God can mean many things. It doesn't necessarily indicate divinity as some may think (this comes from one who does believe in the divinity of Christ). Sometimes it refers to angels, sometimes to kings, or, as you said, holy men. Biblically, we as followers of the Most High through his Christ are also Sons of God. If one is a Son of God then they are by necessity a servant of the Most High.
     
  3. Dunemeister

    Dunemeister Well-Known Member

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    Son of God DOES NOT imply or presuppose divinity.
     
  4. Breathe

    Breathe Hostis humani generis

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    Care to explain what you believe it to mean? I'm interested in other people's perceptions as to it.
     
  5. Dunemeister

    Dunemeister Well-Known Member

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    This isn't about perspective or perception. It's entirely about the way the phrase is used. In Jewish history, the title "Son of God" had been used of King David, high officials and judges, the people of Israel considered as a whole, and of Messianic figures, both historical and potential. It therefore had multiple meanings, depending on context.

    In Jewish speculation, the term was frequently applied to the Messiah. In Greek-speaking areas, the definite article "ho" was used in conjunction with "Christos" to denote the Messiah, whether promised in scripture or actualized in whatever historical Messianic leader who was around. It was in that sense that the early Christians insisted that Jesus was (is) the son of God as opposed to a son of God.
     
  6. Breathe

    Breathe Hostis humani generis

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    It is when you have a broad range of views on here: LDS, Trinitarian, non-Trin, people who hold Jesus to be divine, people who don't... a Trinitarian may believe that "son of God" in reference to Jesus means something else to what you believe it to be, so it's pretty bold a claim to say "it's not that, but it's this!", which is why I've asked what you believe it to be.
    Thanks for sharing. :)
     
  7. Dunemeister

    Dunemeister Well-Known Member

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    My point in saying that it's not about "perspective" or "perception" is that our opinions don't determine what the words mean. It means what it means based on how it's used in the relevant literature. So people (including me) might have wrong beliefs about the phrase, but if there are varying beliefs, it's because of a lack of experience with the relevant materials. The problem is when people start putting idiosyncratic spins on a word.

    So I suppose my cautionary statement is a warning about simply taking a poll about what everyone believes about the phrase and then simply assuming that all views are equally valid. They're not. They need to be tested against what the source material says. And I suppose it's also a caution against assuming we can survey the available opinions and then choose the one that "sits best" with us.

    Now of course, you're probably not doing either of these things, but it happens so often that I guess I automatically react this way when there's the appearance of it going on.
     
  8. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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  9. Breathe

    Breathe Hostis humani generis

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    @Dunemeister
    You're right on this. :) However, I tend to be on the tolerant side and let people, even if I think they may be wrong, have their opinion as well. I don't think all views are equally valid, but I think all views should be equally respected, so I can learn more about the differing views, and why they believe such a thing. :)

    As for myself, your view is also part of mine. Except with my added belief that it also means prophet. I'm not even Christian, but when I was (shortly before I lost my faith), I believed that it came to mean prophet. I dunno how it came to presuppose divinity, though. I personally can't see that from the phrase! If you'd like to start a thread on how that came to happen or something, I'd be interested.


    @ Everyone else: Thank you for your comments! It's interesting to read about them. :)
     
  10. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    In my opinion this would make substantially more sense were you to replace the word "respect" with the word "allow." On the one hand, some beliefs are clearly unworthy of respect and, on the other, there is absolutely nothing (short of laziness) that prevents one from learning more about a belief that one does not respect.

    That's fine, Odion, but, as you suggested above, not all beliefs are created equal, and some beliefs simply do not rise to the level of informed opinion.
     
  11. Thesavorofpan

    Thesavorofpan Is not going to save you.

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    The flesh of God.
     
  12. Kyle Franklin

    Kyle Franklin Member

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    The Lord Jesus, God's Son and God's Messiah.

    Mark 1:1 (New Century Version)

    [1] This is the beginning of the Good News about Jesus Christ, the Son of God,


    ---

    John 1:41 (21st Century King James Version)

    [41] He first found his own brother Simon and said unto him, "We have found the Messiah" (which is, being interpreted, "the Christ").


    Now, there are misconceptions that the term 'son of God' is equal to 'God the son.' Is this true? No, it's not. Jesus Christ is not God the Son and there's no such thing as God the Son. In the whole Bible, you will never find the term 'God the Son.' If you ever find one in a specific translation of the Bible, then, it's a wrong translation. Just like Acts 20:28 in most translations of the Bible. It's not God who is crucified but Jesus Christ. So, how come it's "Church of God?" The correct term that must be used in Acts 20:28 is "Church of Christ" and not "Church of God" even though the Church of Christ is God's Church/community.
     
  13. JayJayDee

    JayJayDee Avid JW Bible Student

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    To me a son is simply the offspring of a parent. In the case of Jesus, he is the 'offspring' of his Father (in a metaphoric sense,) his life being generated by his Creator.
    In time other spirit beings were brought into existence. These too were called "sons of God".

    Adam is also called a "son" of God, he too was a direct creation. He was not generated from a woman's pregnancy like all his own sons and daughters were. (Luke 4:38) Eve's body was constructed using Adam's DNA.

    The Father is the source of all life. He transmitted life to other beings, through his son, both of spirit and of flesh. (Prov 8:22, 30)

    In Jesus' case he was 'generated' in both senses. He has existed as both a spirit being and a human of flesh.

    As a spirit being he has the distinction of being called "only begotten". How does he come to have such a unique designation?

    He is the first of God's creative ventures. The very first and only being that his Father brought into existence personally. This was before the creation of all else....just Father and son alone in whatever space spirit beings inhabit. For unknown times, this son became the loyal student and only companion of his Father, who was also his God.

    At some point God brought all the raw materials of creation into existence and assigned his son to fabricate or fashion these, firstly into a family of spirit sons in the heavenly realm, (each individually created.) These were observers when the material creation was brought into existence. (Col 1:15, 16; Job 38:4-7)

    With the creation of the material universe came the famous line in Gen 1:26, “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness".

    The "US" in this sentence was Father and son.
    All things were created by the Father through the agency of his 'first-born' son.

    So Jesus is the son of God in a very unique way. There is no one like him and never will be. :)
     
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  14. Shermana

    Shermana Heretic

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    In Job, the "Sons of God" are usually considered to be "Angels", and this is how the reading likely was meant for Deuteronomy 32:8 at least according to the Septuagint version, (I think the Masoretic is incorrect/edited in this instance).

    Combined with the idea that "gods" are also called Angels, and in the Non-Trinitarian interpretation that Jesus is called "a god" in the anarthrous, I think it's fair to conclude that what was meant was that Jesus was the incarnation of an Angel, and perhaps THE angel, articulated, as in the highest of the Angels, coinciding with the idea of being the incarnation of "Wisdom" (Logos) personified, the "Firstborn of Creation", of whom was the Vehicle of which all creation was made THROUGH (not by as in originated but by as in the vessel/means), as the above post says:

     
  15. heksesang

    heksesang Member

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    This requires that humans were created "directly." I have always read the Genesis story as metaphorical story, describing the wider picture in a more individual perspective for easier understanding, and for me it's just as possible that humans were created through evolution. In which case "Adam" wouldn't have been created any more "directly" than any other of us.

    And in any case, God called Solomon his son. Solomon certainly had DNA from two human parents.

    The way I see it, those who follow and serve God are sons of God. Be it humans, angels or whatever else might exist. However, Jesus called himself "the Son of God" or "the Son of Man." I believe this is because Jesus was truly an image of God - he was a human (i.e. Son of Man) and he was like God in spirit (i.e. Son of God).
     
  16. chinu

    chinu One of "His" creature.

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    means "re-union" with from where we all started the journey of life in the beginning.
    Who is most loveable among all. :)
     
  17. dan b

    dan b Member

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    "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him, shall not perish but inherit everlansting life." Jn. 3;16


    Is there anything in this verse that pretains to the discussion of this thread?
     
    #17 dan b, Dec 6, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2012
  18. Kolibri

    Kolibri Well-Known Member

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    I was thinking this too about the word "the" in the Greek. Jesus was the principal Son of God, instead of just any son.

    However, in the case of the Sons of Adam (De 32:8) we recall that when Adam was condemned to death as a willful sinner and was evicted from the Garden of Eden. He was, in effect, disowned by God and lost his filial relationship with his heavenly Father. (Ge 3:17-24) Since all humans were born of one rejected by God, Adam’s descendants could not claim the relationship of being a son of God simply on the basis of birth. This is demonstrated by the apostle John’s words at John 1:12, 13. He shows that those who received Christ Jesus, exercising faith in his name, were given “authority to become God’s children, . . . [being] born, not from blood or from a fleshly will or from man’s will, but from God.” Sonship in relation to God, therefore, is not viewed as something automatically received by all of Adam’s descendants at birth. We can conclude that since Adam’s fall into sin, it has required some special recognition by God for men to be designated as his “sons.”

    As the Israelite nation was in a covenant relationship with Jehovah, they could rightly be called "sons". They had "sonship" status by virtue of being a nation directly created by God and dedicated to him by means of entering into a legal contract with him at Mount Sinai.
     
  19. Eliab ben Benjamin

    Eliab ben Benjamin Well-Known Member
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    :) Perhaps like my first name it means simply ...
    One who has the creator for a Father ;)
     
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