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Is Jesus God the Son, the Son of God, or Both?

A typical objection of Muslim apologists is that the Bible nowhere calls Jesus God the Son. Rather, Christ is said to be the Son of God and the Son of Man.

The problem with this assertion is that this ignores the fact that Jesus is not simply declared to be God’s Son, but is also expressly identified as God in contexts where he carries out specific divine functions.

For instance, Jesus is declared to be the Creator and Sustainer of all creation whom God sent to become a flesh and blood human being. Christ is further declared the radiance of God’s glory and the exact imprint/representation of God’s infinite, uncreated substance, who grants everlasting life to all true believers.

Note, carefully, the following citations:

“But there will be no gloom for those who were in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he will make glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations. The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness— on them light has shined… For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God (El Gibbor), Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom. He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onward and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.” Isaiah 9:1-2, 6-7 – Cf. 10:20-21; Matthew 4:12-16; Luke 1:26-33, 78-79

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (Theos). He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people… And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son (monogenous), full of grace and truth… No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son (monogenes Theos), who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.” John 1:18

“‘My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand. What my Father has given me is greater than all else, and no one can snatch it out of the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.’ The Jews took up stones again to stone him. Jesus replied, ‘I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these are you going to stone me?’ The Jews answered, ‘It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you, but for blasphemy, because you, though only a human being, are making yourself God.’ Jesus answered, ‘Is it not written in your law, “I said, you are gods”? If those to whom the word of God came were called “gods”—and the scripture cannot be annulled—can you say that the one whom the Father has sanctified and sent into the world is blaspheming because I said, “I am God’s Son”? If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me. But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.’ Then they tried to arrest him again, but he escaped from their hands.” John 10:27-33

“Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.’ Thomas answered HIM (eipen auto), ‘My Lord and my God (ho Theos mou)!’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.’ Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.” John 20:27-31

“For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and to deal with sin, he condemned sin in the flesh,” Romans 8:3

“They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; to them belong the patriarchs, and from them, according to the flesh, comes the Messiah, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen.” Romans 9:4-5

“Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through WHOM he also created the worlds. HE is the reflection of God’s glory and the EXACT IMPRINT of God’s very being, and HE sustains all things by HIS powerful word. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high… And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says, ‘Let all God’s angels worship him.’… But of the Son he says, ‘Your throne, O God (ho Theos), is forever and ever, and the righteous scepter is the scepter of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.’ And, ‘In the beginning, Lord [the Son], YOU founded the earth, and the heavens are the work of YOUR HANDS; they will perish, but YOU remain; they will all wear out like clothing; like a cloak YOU will roll them up, and like clothing they will be changed. But YOU are the same, and YOUR years will never end.’” Hebrews 1:1-3, 8-12

“And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. HE IS the true God and eternal life (houtos estin ho alethinos Theos kai zoe aioonios).” 1 John 5:20

What makes this rather astonishing is that Jesus is described in the exact same way that Jehovah God is depicted in the Hebrew Bible, despite the fact that the God-breathed Scriptures are emphatically clear that there is no creature who resembles God Almighty or is like him:

“And Ezra said: ‘You are the LORD, you alone; you have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. To all of them you give life, and the host of heaven worships you.’” Nehemiah 9:6

There is none like you among the gods, O LORD, nor are there any works like yours. All the nations you have made shall come and bow down before you, O LORD, and shall glorify your name. For you are great and do wondrous things; you alone are God.” Psalm 86:8-10

For who in the skies can be compared to the LORD? Who among the heavenly beings is like the LORD, a God feared in the council of the holy ones, great and awesome above all that are around him? O LORD God of hosts, who is as mighty as you, O LORD? Your faithfulness surrounds you.” Psalm 89:6-8

“‘O my God,’ I say, ‘do not take me away at the midpoint of my life, you whose years endure throughout all generations.’ Long ago you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you endure; they will all wear out like a garment. You change them like clothing, and they pass away; but you are the same, and your years have no end.” Psalm 102:24-27

“All the nations are as nothing before him; they are accounted by him as less than nothing and emptiness. To whom then will you liken God, or what likeness compare with him?… To whom then will you compare me, or who is my equal? says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high and see: Who created these? He who brings out their host and numbers them, calling them all by name; because he is great in strength, mighty in power, not one is missing… Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.” Isaiah 40:17-18, 25-26, 28

“Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb: I am the LORD, who made all things, who ALONE stretched out the heavens, who BY MYSELF spread out the earth;” Isaiah 44:24

This affirms that Jesus is not a mere creature, but is rather Jehovah God Almighty in the flesh. At the same time he is said to be the Son of God the Father, as the above texts and the following one all affirm:

“Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, in truth and love.” 2 John 1:3

In other words, the testimony of the inspired Scriptures is that Jesus is indeed God the Son!

All scriptural references taken from the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) of the Holy Bible.

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