Son of God – Part 1
Channel: Ashraf Schneider
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Episode Transcript ©
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Peace, blessings and mercy be upon y'all. Welcome back to our page. Today I wanted to talk to you about something that has been in the forefront of my mind lately. I've recently started rereading the Scarlet, a book by renowned scholar, Dr. Lawrence P. Brown. Now, the first time I read this book was really, really early in my journey to faith and rereading it now I'm struck once again by how Dr. Brown unpacks the concept of a son of God, and if you'll indulge me, it is this concept I'll be exploring and hopefully unpacking and making sense of with you in this first of a two part video series today. Obviously, the overwhelming Christian opinion is that Jesus peace and blessings be
upon him was the Son of God, the definite article because he was the only one. But was he actually the son of God, the Son of David, or the Son of Man. In the biblical New Testament, Jesus called a Son of David 14 times, for example, in Matthew chapter one, verse one, the gospel of Luke goes on to trace his lineage back 41 generations to David, but this attempt is undercut by the book of Matthew, offering an alternative lineage. This isn't Jesus from David, but only 26 generations, incompatibility of numbers side, both claims actually prove that even if David was a distant relation, Jesus could not literally have been a son of David, as several generations separated them.
could tie title is thus an honorific one and metaphorical one, and not a literal one. Can one not then understand or interpret the Son of God title in the same way? Shouldn't one?
At the very least, we need to take Jesus's word for his own identity? Because whether you're a Muslim or you're a Christian, you believe that Jesus was a messenger of God. Right? So what did Jesus have to say about his own identity? Did he call himself a son of God? A son of David, or a son of man? We know he called himself a son of man. Right? He did so repeatedly, and empathetically. Let's take a step back for a second, when people call Jesus the Son of God, what are they actually mean? Those who believe in the Trinity are not claiming that God literally called poorly impregnated a woman against the world, or outside of the confines of marriage, nor are they attempting to
suggest that God took a human form and copulated with his own creation. That is something straight out of Greek mythology, right? So, why Son of God? Should it not then be understood as an honorific? A metaphor? Just like Son of David, perhaps the most logical way to interpret Son of God is not literally because to claim the God literally fathered a child with a mortal is blasphemous, and simply conforms to the accepted mythological traditions of the Greeks.
The Quran, as it turns out, poses this very question, namely, how can God have a son when he has no consort? Logically, God has no partner, no spouse no equal. So how could he have a son? And while some are quick to argue that God can do anything that plays straight into the kind of philosophical, but ultimately meaningless, navel gazing that leads to questions like, Can God create a rock too big for himself to carry? The answer, I believe is irrelevant, because God is not concerned with mortal philosophy, logical paradoxes or trickery. Rather, God is consistent in his being, and all his actions are godly and intentional. God's innate rationality and integrity are intrinsic to his
character, as Almighty Creator. So the question really shouldn't be good God, but with God would have defined his own nature to father a child with a mortal woman known, would God have denied and degraded himself and his supreme majesty to take a human form in order to copulate with a woman outside of the confines of marriage, which he himself calls for? No, he'd be defying his own decree. So then, what does SON OF GOD mean? scholars from various religious persuasions conclude that the title must be interpreted metaphorically, as Son of David is interpreted metaphorically, as an honorific? In fact, the Harper's Bible Dictionary itself suggests that Jesus used Son of man, as a
simple self designation as self effecting way to refer to himself simply as a human being. Furthermore, the Oxford Dictionary of the Jewish religion confirms that the phrase of Son of God is idiomatic, not literal. It also does not imply exclusivity. Hence a son of God indefinite article, and not the Son of God definite article, to quote the Oxford Dictionary
of the Jewish religion. The term Son of God is used occasionally in Jewish literature, but does not imply physical dissent from the Godhead. Similarly, the Hastings biblical dictionary notes that in Semitic languages sonship is conceived of as loosely denoting moral rather than paternal connections or relationships.
To be someone's son is that to be morally similar to him, and not to be a direct descendant, thus the sons of Bilal who are all wicked men, and our reference and Judges chapter 19, verse 22, for example, are not all biological offspring are built on the man, but influenced by similar morals, or who behave in a similar fashion to him. The biblical text is thus replete with metaphor. And so one cannot ignore the metaphorical wheat with which Son of God must be similarly imbued. A son of God, then, would be any and every one who reflects a godly character, and who loves according to the decree, there is little evidence that Jesus was even given this honorific by his community during
his lifetime, and to distort its meaning to imply biological sonship is contrary to Jewish monotheistic doctrine. Even if you discount the metaphorical application of similar titles completely. There are multiple SONS OF GOD listed in the Bible. So even then, Jesus would be a son of God, and not the Son of God. Adam is called the Son of God in Luke chapter three, verse three, eight. And yes, Jesus has called God's Son in Matthew chapter three, verse 17, but so is Solomon. In to Samuels, chapter seven, verse 13, to 14, and the entire Israelite nation is also called God's Son. Jesus Himself is quoted as saying that Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called
sons of God. In Matthew chapter five, verse nine, thus implying that anyone who participates peacemaking or keeping the peace a characteristic of God is like his child, in that they are mimicking his nature. Jesus confirms that this is what he meant when he encourages his followers to emulate the traits of God and His morality so that they may be sons of their father in heaven. In Matthew chapter five, verse 45. He even calls God their father and not his father, meaning he acknowledges that being a son of God, does not claim to have any exclusive rights to that title. Although there are two verses in the New Testament, in which Jesus refers to himself as son, only in
relation to his referring to God as his father. The authenticity of these statements is, according to the harvest Bible Dictionary, often called into question, and so it remains uncertain whether Jesus ever actually called himself son, even in relation to God as Father.
Regardless, it is worth noting that Jesus never honors himself with the title Son of God. Nor did he accept honorifics easily in general.
As a result, I cannot help but come to the conclusion that Jesus, if one is to accept that he was a messenger from God, and therefore an honorable and godly man, was who He said He was, if I accept Jesus as a messenger, I feel I must accept that he was telling the truth about himself and his identity. When he calls himself the Son of Man. At eight times, I feel it is my responsibility to listen.
Thank you so much for watching this video and for your ongoing support. If you have any questions about any of the content I've shared with you today, please feel free to contact me via our page, and I'll be more than happy to share some additional resources with you. Or even if you just like to chat, I'm always happy to engage in constructive conversation. If you like the content of this video, be sure to check out part two coming soon, which will focus on the construction of the concept of the Son of God through mistranslation, and further illustrate what I believe Jesus, peace and blessings be upon him to be a messenger of God and a metaphorical Son of God, but not the
literal Son of God. May the Almighty bless you with goodness Zakah