God the Son

God the Son

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God the Son is the second person of the Trinity
Trinity
The Christian doctrine of the Trinity defines God as three divine persons : the Father, the Son , and the Holy Spirit. The three persons are distinct yet coexist in unity, and are co-equal, co-eternal and consubstantial . Put another way, the three persons of the Trinity are of one being...

 in Christian theology
Christian theology
- Divisions of Christian theology :There are many methods of categorizing different approaches to Christian theology. For a historical analysis, see the main article on the History of Christian theology.- Sub-disciplines :...

. The doctrine
Doctrine
Doctrine is a codification of beliefs or a body of teachings or instructions, taught principles or positions, as the body of teachings in a branch of knowledge or belief system...

 of the Trinity identifies Jesus
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

 of Nazareth
Nazareth
Nazareth is the largest city in the North District of Israel. Known as "the Arab capital of Israel," the population is made up predominantly of Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel...

 as God
God in Christianity
In Christianity, God is the eternal being that created and preserves the universe. God is believed by most Christians to be immanent , while others believe the plan of redemption show he will be immanent later...

 the Son, united in essence but distinct in person with regard to God the Father
God the Father
God the Father is a gendered title given to God in many monotheistic religions, particularly patriarchal, Abrahamic ones. In Judaism, God is called Father because he is the creator, life-giver, law-giver, and protector...

 and God the Holy Spirit
Holy Spirit (Christianity)
For the majority of Christians, the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Holy Trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and is Almighty God...

 (the first and third persons of the Trinity). God the Son is co-eternal with God the Father (and the Holy Spirit), both before Creation and after the End (see Eschatology
Eschatology
Eschatology is a part of theology, philosophy, and futurology concerned with what are believed to be the final events in history, or the ultimate destiny of humanity, commonly referred to as the end of the world or the World to Come...

). Son of God
Son of God
"Son of God" is a phrase which according to most Christian denominations, Trinitarian in belief, refers to the relationship between Jesus and God, specifically as "God the Son"...

 for some draws attention to his humanity, whereas God the Son refers more generally to his divinity, including his pre-incarnate existence. So, in Christian theology, Jesus was always God the Son,
though not revealed
Revelation
In religion and theology, revelation is the revealing or disclosing, through active or passive communication with a supernatural or a divine entity...

 to humanity as such until his incarnation
Incarnation
Incarnation literally means embodied in flesh or taking on flesh. It refers to the conception and birth of a sentient creature who is the material manifestation of an entity, god or force whose original nature is immaterial....

.

Source of the term


The term in English follows Greek and Latin usage:
  • In Greek "God the Son" is Theos ho Huios, Θεός ο Υιός (as distinct from ho huios nominative tou Theou genitive, Ο γιος του Θεού, "Son of God
    Son of God
    "Son of God" is a phrase which according to most Christian denominations, Trinitarian in belief, refers to the relationship between Jesus and God, specifically as "God the Son"...

    ")
  • In Latin "God the Son" is Deus (nominative) Filius (nominative) as in "Omnipotens Deus Pater est, Omnipotens Deus Filius, Omnipotens Spiritus Sanctus" (and as distinct from filius Dei genitive "son of God").
  • In Hebrew "God the Son" (Elohim ha-Ben אלוהים הבן ) is used in modern Israeli Christian literature in relation to the "Holy Trinity" (ha-shilush ha-kodesh השילוש הקדוש). The term "son of God" (ben Elohim בן אלוהים) is found in the Hebrew New Testament.

Use of the term



The term is used in Athanasian Creed
Athanasian Creed
The Athanasian Creed is a Christian statement of belief, focusing on Trinitarian doctrine and Christology. The Latin name of the creed, Quicumque vult, is taken from the opening words, "Whosoever wishes." The Athanasian Creed has been used by Christian churches since the sixth century...

 and formulas such as: "God the Father
God the Father
God the Father is a gendered title given to God in many monotheistic religions, particularly patriarchal, Abrahamic ones. In Judaism, God is called Father because he is the creator, life-giver, law-giver, and protector...

, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit : And not three gods, but God is one" - Deus Pater, Deus Filius, Deus Spiritus Sanctus : Et non tres Dii, sed unus est Deus.

Jacques Forget
Jacques Forget
The abbé Jacques Forget was a Belgian priest, biblical scholar and professor of Arabic at the Catholic University of Louvain....

 (1910) in the Catholic Encyclopedia
Catholic Encyclopedia
The Catholic Encyclopedia, also referred to as the Old Catholic Encyclopedia and the Original Catholic Encyclopedia, is an English-language encyclopedia published in the United States. The first volume appeared in March 1907 and the last three volumes appeared in 1912, followed by a master index...

 article "Holy Ghost" notes that "Among the apologists, Athenagoras
Athenagoras
Athenagoras has been the name of several notable Greek individuals:*Athenagoras of Ephesus, a tyrant of Ephesus around the 6th century BC*Athenagoras of Syracuse, statesman and military leader in Syracuse during the Sicilian Expedition, 415 BC to 413 BC...

 mentions the Holy Ghost along with, and on the same plane as, the Father and the Son. "Who would not be astonished", says he (A Plea for the Christians 10), "to hear us called atheists, us who confess God the Father, God the Son and the Holy Ghost, and hold them one in power and distinct in order. Saint Augustine in Sermon 90 on the New Testament says "2. For hold this fast as a firm and settled truth, if you would continue Catholics, that God the Father begot God the Son without time, and made Him of a Virgin in time."

Old Testament



The expression "God the Son" is not used in the Bible, Old Testament or New Testament, though John 1:18 may refer to "God the Only Son" depending on translation. The Old Testament, like the New Testament, does however mention "sons of God".

These expressions referred to the ancient concept of Yahweh
Yahweh
Yahweh is the name of God in the Bible, the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Jews and Christians.The word Yahweh is a modern scholarly convention for the Hebrew , transcribed into Roman letters as YHWH and known as the Tetragrammaton, for which the original pronunciation is unknown...

, the God of Israel in a "council" of his earthly "sons". The New Testament
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....

 authors, writing in a time when monotheism had become the normative Jewish belief, considered these passages to be prophetic of God the Son being further revealed as the Son of God. The New Testament
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....

 books of Acts of the Apostles
Acts of the Apostles
The Acts of the Apostles , usually referred to simply as Acts, is the fifth book of the New Testament; Acts outlines the history of the Apostolic Age...

 and the Epistle to the Hebrews
Epistle to the Hebrews
The Epistle to the Hebrews is one of the books in the New Testament. Its author is not known.The primary purpose of the Letter to the Hebrews is to exhort Christians to persevere in the face of persecution. The central thought of the entire Epistle is the doctrine of the Person of Christ and his...

 both quote , "You are my Son; today I have become your Father."

New Testament


The phrase "God the Son" (Greek: ho Theos Uios, Ο Θεός Υιός) is not found in the New Testament.

Later theological use of this expression (compare Latin: Deus Filius) reflects what came to be standard interpretation of New Testament references, understood to imply Jesus' Divinity, but the distinction of his person from another Person of the Trinity called the Father. As such, the title is associated more with the development of the doctrine of the Trinity
Trinity
The Christian doctrine of the Trinity defines God as three divine persons : the Father, the Son , and the Holy Spirit. The three persons are distinct yet coexist in unity, and are co-equal, co-eternal and consubstantial . Put another way, the three persons of the Trinity are of one being...

 than with the Christological
Christology
Christology is the field of study within Christian theology which is primarily concerned with the nature and person of Jesus Christ as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament. Primary considerations include the relationship of Jesus' nature and person with the nature...

 debates.

There are over 40 places in the New Testament where Jesus is given the title "the Son of God" (Greek: uios tou Theou, υιος του Θεού), but scholars don't consider this to be an equivalent expression. "God the Son" is rejected by antitrinitarians, who view this reversal of the most common term for Christ as a doctrinal perversion and as tending towards tritheism
Tritheism
Tritheism is the belief that there are three distinct, powerful gods, who form a triad. Generally three gods are envisaged as having separate powers and separate supreme beings or spheres of influence but working together...

. Other branches of Christianity believe Jesus to be the incarnation of the Holy Ghost and the archangel Michael to be God the Son.

Judaism



In Judaism the phrase God the Son is not known and does not appear in the Hebrew Bible
Hebrew Bible
The Hebrew Bible is a term used by biblical scholars outside of Judaism to refer to the Tanakh , a canonical collection of Jewish texts, and the common textual antecedent of the several canonical editions of the Christian Old Testament...

.
The phrase sons of God does appear.

The concept of an incarnation of God is strictly rejected. The status of Jesus as a messiah is rejected in Judaism, as is the concept of the Tanakh
Tanakh
The Tanakh is a name used in Judaism for the canon of the Hebrew Bible. The Tanakh is also known as the Masoretic Text or the Miqra. The name is an acronym formed from the initial Hebrew letters of the Masoretic Text's three traditional subdivisions: The Torah , Nevi'im and Ketuvim —hence...

 being prophetic in regards to Jesus.

In Islam



The Qur'an
Qur'an
The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

 supports the Virgin birth of Jesus as a miracle decreed by God. However, although Jesus is highly respected prophet in Islam, and considered to be the Messiah, Muslims do not believe that he was either the Son of God, or God the Son, and consider him a man who, like other prophets, had been divinely chosen to spread God's message.

See also


  • Names and titles of Jesus in the New Testament
    Names and titles of Jesus in the New Testament
    Two names and a variety of titles are used to refer to Jesus in the New Testament.In Christianity, the two names Jesus and Emmanuel that refer to Jesus in the New Testament have salvific attributes...

  • Pre-existence of Christ
    Pre-existence of Christ
    The pre-existence of Christ refers to the doctrine of the ontological or personal existence of Christ before his conception. One of the relevant Bible passages is where, in the Trinitarian view, Christ is identified with a pre-existent divine hypostasis called the Logos or Word...


External links