Friday, 2 January 2015

What does 'Son of God' mean according to Jews?

We’ve all been subjected to evangelical Trinitarian Christian material; the more you look into their claims the more you realize how far off the mark they are. The mere fact that there exists CHRISTIANS, who do not believe Jesus is God, is enough to spark further study of THEIR proof texts – the Bible. Here we can ponder upon the way evangelical Trinitarian Christians misuse the term ‘son of God’ whilst attempting to convince Muslims (and others) that a man (Prophet Jesus) is God Almighty.

The Jesus scholar, Geza Vermes, lifts the lid on the term 'Son of God' and what it actually means rather than the stuff churned out by evangelical Trinitarian Christians.

Common knowledge: ‘Son of god’ is figurative not literal

It is common knowledge that before the New Testament, the Hebrew Bible and the Dead Sea Scrolls regularly speak of ‘Sons of God’ and occasionally refer to God in figurative speech as ‘begetting’ or ‘procreating’ a human being. [1]

‘Son of God’ used for ANY Jewish male who was pious

In the Bible and in writings produced during the centuries that followed the completion of the Old Testament, ‘Son of God’ occurs in a variety of meanings. In addition to the angels already discussed, among the humans ‘Son of God’ was the title of anyone believed in some way to be linked to God. Every male Israelite could pride himself on being a ‘son of God’, and reciprocally he was in a position to call God his Father. In the course of time the phrase was also applied – more and more restrictively – to the good Jews, to the especially holy Jews, culminating with the king of the Jews and finally with the Messiah, the most holy and powerful future ruler of Israel about whom we read in the Florilegium, one of the Dead Sea Scrolls, ‘I will be his Father and he shall be my Son. He is the Branch of David’ [2]

‘Son of God’ NEVER referred to a ‘man god’

Trinitarian Christians who promote Jesus to the status of God are found wanting with regards to the basic term ‘son of God’ as the scholar confirms the term does not refer to their idea of Jesus.
…It is universally agreed among experts that in Judaism the phrase [‘Son of God’] is always used metaphorically; it never designates a person who is believed to be simultaneously man and God, a human being who also shares in some way divine nature. [3]

[1] The Nativity, Geza Vermes, Penguin, 2006. p53 and 54

[2] Ibid. p54

[3] Ibid. p54

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hello Yahya:

It is I,Minoria.I found your article interesting.I agree with you,the phrase Son of God in itself doesn't mean divinity,like when Peter says to Jesus:

"You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God."(Matthew 16:6).

Any time one has the words Son of God in a conversation in the Gospels,it can only mean the ordinary Jewish term.

I don't know why Evangelicals can't accept it.The other Christians have no problem with it.It is that Evangelicals in that sense have become fanatic regarding the term.


There is the Greek word proskuneo which Evangelicals,it seems to me, always insist ONLY means "worship" when used for Jesus.It could but it also could mean ordinary respect to a great person,shown by bowing or prostration.So proskuneo can't be used as 100% proof that the Gospels say Jesus is God,for that other texts are necessary.

Here is proof,in "The Biblical Definition of Worship"(I divided the paragraph):

"Likewise in addressing the meaning of proskuneo, Everett Ferguson affirmed that,

1)The most common word for worship was proskyneo (“to kiss the hand toward”, “to do obeisance”, “to prostrate oneself”).

2)It had the most specific content of the words to worship: to bow or fall down before an object of veneration.

3)Since it could be done before a human being of higher rank from whom a benefit was desired, its frequent occurrences in the Gospels in reference to Jesus

4)do not necessarily indicate acceptance of his divinity or messianic status by those who approached him in this way

(more ambiguous in Matt. 8:2 and 9:18 than in 28:9, 17; note the mocking used in Mark 15:19). From the specific act came a general usage for “worship” or “acts of reverence” (John 12:20; Rev. 14:7). It could be directed toward human beings (Acts 10:25, in this case rejected), the idols of paganism (Acts 7:43), the devil or his agents (Matt. 4:9; Rev. 13:4), angels (Rev. 22:8, but rejected), or the true God (Rev. 7:11). Only in 1 Corinthians 14:25 is the term used in reference to a church meeting, and here it is done by an “outsider”."