Did Jesus Call Himself The “Son of God”?
Mohamad Mostafa Nassar
The first issue that we have to consider is that Jesus (PBUH) did not call himself “the Son of God” except once (John 10:36).
The rest of the Gospels’ passages tell us that his disciples and his contemporaries also said so. This is what made some scholars doubt that Jesus (PBUH) or his disciples had truly uttered these words.
In his book, “The Gospel Dictionary”, Senger wrote, “That Jesus himself used this term is uncertain”.
In this regard, Charles Gene Pair said, “The firm conclusion of the researchers’ studies is, that Jesus never claimed that he was the expected Messiah, and he never called himself the Son of God… for this language was not in use except by Christians who were influenced by the Greek Culture.
“Coleman, the prominent scholar, said regarding this title, “The disciples, mentioned in Acts, were influenced by their master who did not use this title and he did not want it, and then they followed his steps”.
The Correct Meaning of “Son of God”
The meaning of the son-ship of Jesus (PBUH) and others has a figurative and metaphoric meaning, which are, the one who is dear to God, the one who is obedient to God or the one who believes in God.
Mark, when he spoke about the centurion, who saw the crucified person, wrote, “And when the centurion, whom stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, truly this man was the Son of God.” (Mark 15:39)
When Luke mentioned the event, he changed the sentence to its equal. He says, “Now when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, certainly this was a righteous man.” (Luke 23:47)
We find the same use of this meaning in the Gospel according to John when he spoke about the believers.
He said, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” (John 1:12) and he said, “He that is of God hears God’s words” (John 8:47)
Paul declared the same fact, he said, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” (Rom. 8:14)
This metaphoric use is common in the Holy Books that speak about the children of evil and the children of the world. (John 8:44) (Luke 16:8).
When the devils mentioned the real meaning of the son-ship to Jesus (PBUH), he condemned them. “And devils also came out of many, crying out, and saying, Thou art Christ the Son of God.
And he rebuked them suffered them not to speak: for they knew that he was Christ.” (Luke 4:41) He is the Christ only and not a real Son of God.