The value of a Bible to a Christian is at the core of his or her faith and its teachings influences a Christian’s life . From the study of the Bible cutting through both the Old and the New Testaments different use of the theme of “Son of God” is conspicuously noticeable. From a normal biological understanding, a son is a representation of a male child born from the union of a man and a woman. From a Biblical perspective, tracing the use of the theme “Son of God”, one gets varied representations in the use of the phrase. Both from the old and new testaments different contextual use of the phrase “Son of God” reveal different references. The use of the word son is tagged on different entities as one reads throughout its use in both the old and the New Testament. However, the commonality of these references is that God retains the central role of fatherhood even if the nature or variance of a “son” changes from one entity to another.
In the old testament for example, the reference of the phrase “Sons of God” in accordance to the book of Job chapter one and verse six, reveals the use of the phrase as a representation of heavenly beings, probably angels who are able to hold an assembly in heaven in the presence of God . This reference for angels as sons of God’s is also captured in the book of Daniel chapter three and verse twenty five . Freedman and Myers also talks of the reference of the nation of Israel being referred to as God’s firstborn son in the book of Exodus chapter four and verse twenty two . The biological interrelation in these representations is null and void. The picture presented in these examples reveals either Go’s ruler-ship or ownership of these entities and as thus the reference of His fatherhood of them. These entities are directly answerable to God and as such, His exertion of dominion over them may be assumed to be correlated to His fatherhood upon them.
The use of the “Son of God” phrase in the New Testament also introduces other entities adding to those already captured in the Old Testament. The New Testament sees the introduction of Jesus and His reference as the “Son of God” in Mathew chapter fourteen and verse thirty three and subsequently verse sixteen of chapter sixteen . Born of a virgin under divine influence by the power of the deity with no involvement of a mortal male, Jesus is himself referred to as the “Son of God” because of His divine conception in a virgin woman’s womb linked to God’s power. Jesus is himself predicted and regarded as a divine king in the book of Psalms chapter two and verse seven where He is also mentioned as the Lord’s ( a variant name of God) Son . Buttrick (pg 21-22) marks out that Jesus who in the Bible is the Messiah who was to come and save humans from their sinfulness, restore and reconcile them back to God is actually the “Son of God”.
The relationship aspect of God and human beings is clearly delineated in the Bible. There is a clear reference of the revelation of people as God’s children as depicted in the book of Deuteronomy chapter thirty two and verse nineteen and also in Isaiah chapter forty three and verse six . The book of John in the New Testament chapter one and verse twelve indicates that people can become God’s sons upon their acceptance and belief in Jesus as their savior. Again this is shown in the book of second Corinthians chapter six and verse eighteen where God inspires men to desist from evil ways promising to be their father and them becoming His sons and daughters. The Bile also says that God gives His Holy Spirit to humans through whom these humans refers to God as “Abba father” as captured in the book of Roman Chapter eight and verse fifteen.
The most conspicuous use or reference of the phrase “Son of God” in the New Testament is centrally conveyed in the relationship between Jesus and God. Throughout the gospel books, Acts, Paul’s letters and the letters of the other apostles, the most indicative use of this phrase was in reference of Jesus in His capacity as the “Son of God”. God’s voice noted during the baptism of Jesus (Mark chapter one and verse eleven) and transfiguration (Mark chapter nine and verse seven) also backs the proposition of Jesus being the “Son of God” .
Similarities in development as well as contentions have arisen in the application of the “Son of God” phrase in different ways. For example son-ship in relation to God is tagged to angels in the Jewish inter-testament book (Ws 5:5) similar to the reference found in the book of Daniel chapter three and verse twenty five . This similarity is also noted in the reference of a person who observes and practices righteousness as God’s son same way it is depicted in the book of John chapter one and verse twelve . Contention is also noted in the application of the phrase “Son of God” in other religious books in references that would otherwise be seen as blasphemous in the perspective of Bible students. Some texts from the Qumran reveal the view of the use of the term “son of man” as very mysterious while the bestowing of the title “son of man” to Caesar who was a secular ruler by the Greco-Romans as totally blasphemous .
According to the belief of the Jews, any person who identified himself as a “Son of God” had taken to equate himself with God. According to the Jewish custom this was totally unacceptable and such a person was greatly considered blasphemous. This was the experience Jesus went through when the Pharisees scoffed at Him for admitting that He was the “Son of God” and as such being the “Son of God” He had the same divine authority to forgive sin same way as God did (Mathew chapter nine verse one to eight).
Other point of contention as far as the “Son of God” phrase use is concerned lies in the belief of the legitimacy of the deity of Jesus as God. The belief by those from other religions that Jesus was born of a mortal woman and nurtured under the normal circumstances of a normal mortal being rules out his deity. He is thus perceived as a man or may be a prophet, a messenger of God and not God. The reference of Jesus as the “Son of God” and thus one with God by Christians is considered idolatrous by other groups and unacceptable. Generally depending on who is asked, the phrase “Son of God” can elicit a reverent fear or callous mockery both based on religious perspectives or in some cases, non-belief in religion.
Buttrick, David. "Speaking Jesus: Homiletic Theology and the Sermon on the Mount." Buttrick, David. Speaking Jesus: Homiletic Theology and the Sermon on the Mount. Westminster John Knox Press, n.d.
Fitzmyer, Joseph A. "The Interpretation of Scripture: In Defense of the Historical-critical Method." Fitzmyer, Joseph A. The Interpretation of Scripture: In Defense of the Historical-critical Method. Mahwah New Jersey: Paulist Press, 2008. 1-2.
Freedman, David Noel and Allen C. Myers. "Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible." Freedman, David Noel and Allen C. Myers. Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible. Amsterdam University Press, n.d. 1241.