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What Does the Title

"Son of God" Mean?


Many times when discussing the person of Jesus Christ with the Jehovah's Witnesses, I ask them if Jesus is God or "a god", and they answer than

He is the Son of God.

This sounds like a right answer. However, being very familiar with their doctrine, I know that they believe Jesus is created, that he is the Archangel Michael, and that He is "a god", according to their own New World Translation of the Bible. However, we can show from the Bible that they are incorrect on all three of these statements, but it seems harder to answer when they refer to Him as the Son of God.

We began a search in various local libraries for some insight into this title. There were several books which used that title, but none of them had any material explaining this particular title in view of Jesus' Deity, but they mainly explained where this title is used in the Bible. We already knew that, and so we continued to search.

One day from my own library, I checked the Table of Contents on a certain book and there was the title, "The Son of God". STUDIES IN THEOLOGY by Lorraine Boettner, on page 112, explains that,

"During the public ministry the Jews, in accordance with the Hebrew usage of the term, correctly understood Jesus' claim to be the "Son" of God as equivalent to asserting that He was "equal with God", or simply "God" (John 5:18; 10:33); and it was for claiming to be "the Christ, the Son of God," that He was accused of blasphemy by the high priest and sentenced by the Sanhedrin to be crucified (Matt. 26:63-66)."

It is important to note that Jesus is not A son of God, but is THE Son of God. We know that Jesus is the unique, only-begotten Son of God and that He is not the Archangel Michael. For additional help in showing He is not Michael and for an explanation of the term "the firstborn of all creation", we suggest you order the booklet "Could Jesus be "a god"?" Jehovah's Witnesses will try to bring up wrong definitions at this point in your discussion, and this booklet will help you correct them.

Here is what STUDIES IN THEOLOGY explains about the terms "Father" and "Son" on page 112,

"To our occidental type of mind the terms "Father" and "Son" carry with them, on the one hand, the ideas of source of being and superiority, and on the other, subordination and dependence. In theological language, however, they are used in the Semitic or Oriental sense of sameness of nature. It is, of course, the Semitic consciousness which underlies the phraseology of Scripture, and wherever the Scriptures call Christ the "Son" of God they assert His true and proper Deity."

The Jehovah's Witnesses like to answer that the Jews were mistaken in their reaction to the words of Jesus in John 5:17, but they were not mistaken at all. The Jews understood better than we do today, that by "calling God his own Father" He was "making himself equal with God". (John 5:18).

Jesus was claiming to be of the same nature as His Father, and we can agree with this when we understand that He was not born of a human father, but was conceived by the Holy Spirit. (See Matthew 1:20 and Hebrews 1:2-4).

Page 152 of STUDIES IN THEOLOGY, states

"One of the most exalted titles applied to Jesus is that of "The Son of God". It is a divine title or name He is fully qualified to speak to men concerning the things of God."

In conclusion, we can see that the title "Son of God" refers to Jesus' Deity, just as the title "Son of Man" refers to His humanity. The title "Son of God" does not in any way support the Jehovah's Witnesses' view that Jesus is just a created being and a lesser god.





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