Son of God
"Son of God" is a phrase which, according to most Christian denominations Trinitarian in belief, refers to the divine relationship between Jesus and God, specifically as "God the Son". To a minority of Christians, nontrinitarians, the term "Son of God", applied to Jesus in the New Testament, is accepted, while the non-biblical but less ambiguous "God the Son" is not.
Throughout history, emperors have assumed titles that amount to being "a son of god", "a son of a god" or "son of Heaven". Roman Emperor Augustus referred to his relation to the deified adoptive father, Julius Caesar as "son of a god" via the term divi filius which was later also used by Domitian and is distinct from the use of Son of God in the New Testament.
In the New Testament, the title "Son of God" is applied to Jesus on many occasions. It is often seen as referring to his divinity, from the beginning in the Annunciation up to the Crucifixion. The declaration that Jesus is the Son of God is made by many individuals in the New Testament, and on two separate occasions by God the Father as a voice from Heaven, and is asserted by Jesus himself.
- 1 Historical context
- 2 Christianity
- 3 Other religions and belief systems
- 4 Imperial titles
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 Bibliography
For thousands of years, emperors and rulers ranging from the Western Zhou dynasty (c. 1000 BC) in China to the Emperor of Japan (starting in c. 600 AD) to Alexander the Great (c. 360 BC) have assumed titles that reflect a filial relationship with deities.
Around the time of Jesus, the title divi filius (son of the divine one) was specially, but not exclusively, associated with Emperor Augustus (as adopted son of Julius Caesar). Later, it was also used to refer to Domitian (as son of Vespasian). Augustus used the title "Divi filius", not "Dei filius", and respected the distinction.
In Judaism God does not have a son, and although references to "sons of God" or "son of God" are occasionally found in Jewish literature, they never refer to physical descent from God. These terms are often used in the general sense in which the Jewish people were referred to as "children of the Lord your God". In the introduction to the flood story, Genesis 6:2 refers to "sons of God" who married the daughters of man and is used in a polytheistic context to refer to angels. In the Book of Exodus Israel as a people is called "God's son", using the singular form. When used by the Rabbis, the term referred to Israel or to human beings in general, and not as a reference to the Messiah.
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Both the terms sons of God and "son of God" appear in Jewish literature and leaders of the people, kings and princes were called "sons of God", predating the New Testament. However, the Messiah, the Anointed One, was uniquely called the Son of God, as in Psalm 2:7: The "Lord hath said to me: Thou art my son, this day have I begotten thee". This psalm can obviously be seen as referring to a particular king of Judah, but has also been understood of the awaited Messiah.
In the New Testament, the title "Son of God" is applied to Jesus on many occasions. It is often used to refer to his divinity, from the beginning of the New Testament narrative when in Luke 32-35 the angel Gabriel announces: "the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee: wherefore also the holy thing which is begotten shall be called the Son of God."
The declaration that Jesus is the Son of God is echoed by many sources in the New Testament. On two separate occasions the declarations are by God the Father, when during the Baptism of Jesus and then during the Transfiguration as a voice from Heaven. On several occasions the disciples call Jesus the Son of God and even the Jews scornfully remind Jesus during his crucifixion of his claim to be the Son of God."
Of all the Christological titles used in the New Testament, Son of God has had one of the most lasting impacts in Christian history and has become part of the profession of faith by many Christians. In the mainstream Trinitarian context the title implies the full divinity of Jesus as part of the Holy Trinity of Father, Son and the Spirit.
However, the concept of God as the father of Jesus, and Jesus as the exclusive divine Son of God is distinct from the concept of God as the Creator and father of all people, as indicated in the Apostle's Creed. The profession begins with expressing belief in the "Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth" and then immediately, but separately, in "Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord", thus expressing both senses of fatherhood within the Creed.
The title's meaning
In the Old Testament no individual ever addressed God as "my Father". What Jesus did with the language of divine sonship was first of all to apply it individually (to himself) and to fill it with a meaning that lifted "Son of God" beyond the level of his being merely a human being made like Adam in the image of God, his being perfectly sensitive to the Holy Spirit (Luke 4:1, 14, 18), his bringing God's peace (Luke 2:14; Luke 10:5–6) albeit in his own way (Matt 10:34=Luke 12:51), or even his being God's designated Messiah.
Jesus in the Synoptic Gospels
According to the Synoptic Gospels, Jesus referred to himself obliquely as "the Son" and even more significantly spoke of God as "my Father" (Matt. 11:27 par.; 16:17; Luke 22:29). He not only spoke like "the Son" but also acted like "the Son" in knowing and revealing the truth about God, in changing the divine law, in forgiving sins, in being the one through whom others could become children of God, and in acting with total obedience as the agent for God's final kingdom. This clarifies the charge of blasphemy brought against him at the end (Mark 14:64 par.); he had given the impression of claiming to stand on a par with God. Jesus came across as expressing a unique filial consciousness and as laying claim to a unique filial relationship with the God whom he addressed as "Abba".
Even if historically he never called himself "the only" Son of God (cf. John 1:14, 18; John 3:16, 18), Jesus presented himself as Son and not just as one who was the divinely appointed Messiah (and therefore "son" of God). He made himself out to be more than only someone chosen and anointed as divine representative to fulfil an eschatological role in and for the kingdom. Implicitly, Jesus claimed an essential, "ontological" relationship of sonship towards God which provided the grounds for his functions as revealer, lawgiver, forgiver of sins, and agent of the final kingdom. Those functions (his "doing") depended on his ontological relationship as Son of God (his "being"). Jesus invited his hearers to accept God as a loving, merciful Father. He worked towards mediating to them a new relationship with God, even to the point that they too could use "Abba" when addressing God in prayer. Yet, Jesus' consistent distinction between "my" Father and "your" Father showed that he was not inviting the disciples to share with him an identical relationship of sonship. He was apparently conscious of a qualitative distinction between his sonship and their sonship which was derived from and depended on his. His way of being son was different from theirs.
In their own way, John and Paul maintained this distinction. Paul expressed their new relationship with God as taking place through an "adoption" (Gal. 4:5; Rom. 8:15), which makes them "children of God" (Rom. 8:16–17) or, alternatively, "sons of God" (Rom. 8:14; (Rom. 4:6–7). John distinguished between the only Son of God (John 1:14, 18; John 3:16, 18) and all those who through faith can become "children of God" (John 1:12; 11:52; and 1 John 3:1–2,10 1 John 5:2). Paul and John likewise maintained and developed the correlative of all this, Jesus' stress on the fatherhood of God. Over 100 times John's Gospel names God as "Father". Paul's typical greeting to his correspondents runs as follows: "Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the/our Lord Jesus Christ" (Rom 1:7; 1 Cor 1:3; 2 Cor 1:2; Gal 1:3; Phil 1:2; 2 Thess 1:2; Philem 3). The greeting names Jesus as "Lord", but the context of "God our Father" implies his sonship.
Paul therefore distinguished between their graced situation as God's adopted children and that of Jesus as Son of God. In understanding the latter's "natural" divine sonship, Paul firstly spoke of God "sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful nature and to deal with sin" (Rom. 8:3). In a similar passage, Paul says that "when the fullness of time had come God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law" (Gal. 4:4). If one examines these three passages in some detail, it raises the question whether Paul thinks of an eternally pre-existent Son coming into the world from his Father in heaven to set humanity free from sin and death (Rom. 8:3, 32) and make it God's adopted children (Gal. 4:4–7). The answer will partly depend, first, on the way one interprets other Pauline passages which do not use the title "Son of God" (2 Cor. 8:9; Phil. 2:6–11). These latter passages present a pre-existent Christ taking the initiative, through his "generosity" in "becoming poor" for us and "assuming the form of a slave". The answer will, second, depend on whether one judges 1 Corinthians 8:6 and Colossians 1:16 to imply that as a pre-existent being the Son was active at creation. 1 Corinthians 8:6 without explicitly naming "the Son" as such, runs:
There is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.
Calling God "the Father" clearly moves one toward talk of "the Son". In the case of Colossians 1:16, the whole hymn (Col 1:15–20) does not give Jesus any title. However, he has just been referred to (Col 1:13) as God's "beloved Son". Third, it should be observed that the language of "sending" (or, for that matter, "coming" with its stress on personal purpose (Mark 10:45 par.; Luke 12:49, 51 par.) by itself does not necessarily imply pre-existence. Otherwise one would have to ascribe pre-existence to John the Baptist, "a man sent from God", who "came to bear witness to the light" (John 1:6–8; cf. Matt. 11:10, 18 par.). In the Old Testament, angelic and human messengers, especially prophets, were "sent" by God, but one should add at once that the prophets sent by God were never called God's sons. It makes a difference that in the cited Pauline passages it was God's Son who was sent. Here being "sent" by God means more than merely receiving a divine commission and includes coming from a heavenly pre-existence and enjoying a divine origin. Fourth, in their context, the three Son of God passages here examined (Rom. 8:3, 32; Gal. 4:4) certainly do not focus on the Son's pre-existence, but on his being sent or given up to free human beings from sin and death, to make them God's adopted children, and to let them live (and pray) with the power of the indwelling Spirit. Nevertheless, the Apostle's soteriology presupposes here a Christology that includes divine pre-existence. It is precisely because Christ is the pre-existent Son who comes from the Father that he can turn human beings into God's adopted sons and daughters.
Although John's massive use of the title (twenty-two or twenty-three times in the Gospel) fills "Son of God" with a certain new content, in various ways he is only developing themes that go back to the Synoptic Gospels and Jesus himself.
In the Fourth Gospel, Jesus is the eternally pre-existent Son who was sent from heaven into the world by the Father (e.g., John 3:17; John 4:34; John 5:24–37) . He remains conscious of the divine pre-existence he enjoyed with the Father (John 8:23, John 8:38–42). He is one with the father (John 10:30; John 14:7) and loved by the Father (John 3:35; John 5:20; John 10:17; John 17:23–26). The Son has the divine power to give life and to judge (John 5:21–26; John 6:40; John 8:16; John 17:2). Through his death, resurrection, and ascension the Son is glorified by the Father (John 17:1–24), but it is not a glory that is thereby essentially enhanced. His glory not only existed from the time of the incarnation to reveal the Father (John 1:14), but also pre-existed the creation of the world (John 17:5-7-24). Where paul and the author of Hebrews picture Jesus almost as the elder brother or the first-born of God's new eschatological family (Rom 8:14–29; Heb 2:10–12), John insists even more on the clear qualitative difference between Jesus' sonship and that of others. Being God's "only Son" (John 1:14–1:18; John 3:16–3:18), he enjoys a truly unique and exclusive relationship with the Father.
At least four of these themes go back to the earthly Jesus himself. First, although one has no real evidence for holding that he was humanly aware of his eternal pre-existence as Son, his "Abba-consciousness" revealed an intimate loving relationship with the Father. The full Johannine development of the Father-Son relationship rests on an authentic basis in the Jesus-tradition (Mark 14:36; Matt. 11:25–26; 16:17; Luke 11:2). Second, Jesus not only thought of himself as God's Son, but also spoke of himself as sent by God. Once again, John develops the theme of the Son's mission, which is already present in sayings that at least partly go back to Jesus (Mark 9:37; Matt 15:24; Luke 10:16), especially in 12:6, where it is a question of the sending of a "beloved Son". Third, the Johannine theme of the Son with power to judge in the context of eternal life finds its original historical source in the sayings of Jesus about his power to dispose of things in the kingdom assigned to him by "my Father" (Luke 22:29–30) and about one's relationship to him deciding one's final destiny before God (Luke 12:8–9). Fourth, albeit less insistently, when inviting his audience to accept a new filial relationship with God, Jesus — as previously seen — distinguished his own relationship to God from theirs. The exclusive Johannine language of God's "only Son" has its real source in Jesus' preaching. All in all, Johannine theology fully deploys Jesus' divine sonship, but does so by building up what one already finds in the Synoptic Gospels and what, at least in part, derives from the earthly Jesus himself.
New Testament narrative
In Matthew 14:33 after Jesus walks on water, the disciples tell Jesus: "You really are the Son of God!" In response to the question by Jesus, "But who do you say that I am?", Peter replied: "You are Christ, the Son of the living God". And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven" (Matthew 16:15–17). In Matthew 27:43, while Jesus hangs on the cross, the Jewish leaders mock him to ask God help, "for he said, I am the Son of God", referring to the claim of Jesus to be the Son of God. Matthew 27:54 and Mark 15:39 include the exclamation by the Roman commander: "He was surely the Son of God!" after the earthquake following the Crucifixion of Jesus.
In Luke 1:35, in the Annunciation, before the birth of Jesus, the angel tells Mary that her child "shall be called the Son of God". In Luke 4:41 (and Mark 3:11), when Jesus casts out demons, they fall down before him, and declare: "You are the Son of God."
In John 1:34 John the Baptist bears witness that Jesus is the Son of God and in John 11:27 Martha calls him the Messiah and the Son of God. In several passages in the Gospel of John assertions of Jesus being the Son of God are usually also assertions of his unity with the Father, as in John 14:7–9: "If you know me, then you will also know my Father" and "Whoever has seen me has seen the Father".
In John 19:7 the Jews cry out to Pontius Pilate "Crucify him" based on the charge that Jesus "made himself the Son of God." The charge that Jesus had declared himself "Son of God" was essential to the argument of the Jews from a religious perspective, as the charge that he had called himself King of the Jews was important to Pilate from a political perspective, for it meant possible rebellion against Rome.
Towards the end of his Gospel (in ) John declares that the purpose for writing it was "that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God".
Jesus' own assertions
When in Matthew 16:15–16 Apostle Peter states: "You are Christ, the Son of the living God" Jesus not only accepts the titles, but calls Peter "blessed" and declares the profession a divine revelation by stating: "flesh and blood did not reveal it to you, but my Father who is in Heaven." By emphatically endorsing both titles as divine revelation, Jesus unequivocally declares himself to be both Christ and the Son of God in Matthew 16:15–16. The reference to his Father in Heaven is itself a separate assertion of sonship within the same statement.
In the Sanhedrin trial of Jesus in Mark 14:61 when the high priest asked Jesus: "Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?" Jesus responded "I am". Jesus' claim here was emphatic enough to make the high priest tear his robe.
In the new Testament Jesus uses the term "my Father" as a direct and unequivocal assertion of his sonship, and a unique relationship with the Father beyond any attribution of titles by others:
In a number of other episodes Jesus claims sonship by referring to the Father, e.g. in Luke 2:49 when he is found in the temple a young Jesus calls the temple "my Father's house", just as he does later in John 2:16 in the Cleansing of the Temple episode. In Matthew 1:11 and Luke 3:22 Jesus allows himself to be called the Son of God by the voice from above, not objecting to the title.
References to "my Father" by Jesus in the New Testament are distinguished in that he never includes other individuals in them and only refers to his Father, however when addressing the disciples he uses your Father, excluding himself from the reference.
New Testament references
Humans, including the New Testament writers, calling Jesus Son of God
- Matthew 14:33, Matthew 27:54 Mark 1:1 , Mark 15:39 , Romans 1:4, John 1:34 , John 1:49 , John 11:27, John 20:31 , Acts 9:20 , Galatians 2:20, Hebrews 4:14 , Hebrews 6:6 , Hebrews 7:3, Hebrews 10:29 , 1 John 3:8 , 1 John 4:15, 1 John 5:1 , 1 John 5:5, 1 John 5:10 , 1 John 5:13, 1 John 5:20 , Revelation 2:18, 2 Corinthians 1:19
Attributed to Jesus himself
Unclear whether attributed to Jesus himself or only a comment of the evangelist
Jesus referred to as the Son:
The God and Father of Jesus
- The New Testament also contains six references to God as "the God and Father" of Jesus.
Naming the Son of God
First, the memory of that personal sense of filiation, which came through Jesus' prayer, teaching, and other activity, played its part. The Synoptic Gospels witness to the way in which Christians kept alive the memory of Jesus' filial consciousness: his conviction of radical obedience towards, authorization by, and specific relationship to the God whom he called "Abba". That sense of filial consciousness helped to fuel deadly opposition, but was vindicated by Jesus' resurrection. Second, believers experienced Jesus' post-existent activity as the Saviour and the Son of God, who with the father had sent the Holy Spirit. They experienced the risen Jesus as the one who made it possible for them to join him in praying to God as "Abba".[Rom. 8:15][Gal. 4:6] They recognized that in and through the living Jesus they had come to share in his divine filiation. That experience underpinned their new faith in the fatherhood of the God of Israel, who, in the first place, is/was "the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ".[e.g., Rom. 15:6] [2 Cor. 1:3] [11:31]
The clearly relational nature within the life of God of the titles "Son of God" and "Word" gave these titles their special prominence in the christological and trinitarian debates that flourished during the first few centuries of the Church's existence. Paul, along with other early Christians, however, disclosed a marked preference for "Lord" (and "Christ") as designations for the risen Jesus. In the end, much of the importance of the Son of God title lies in its being rooted in Jesus' earthly ministry (as well as in its Old Testament background), and in its being intimately related to the strong sense of God's loving and life-giving fatherhood promoted by Jesus and reflected in Paul's letters.
One should also recall that the recognition of Jesus' divinity did/does not stand or fall with the Son of God title, its antiquity, and its meaning. In Paul's typical greeting to his addressees, "God our Father" and "the Lord Jesus Christ" are named together as the source of "grace and peace" — that is to say, of integral salvation.[e.g., Gal. 1:3] Furthermore, such a divine prerogative as the work of creation was quickly attributed to the risen Jesus. In the making of Paul's apostolic vocation, Christ stands on the divine side, not on that of human beings.[Gal. 1:1] 
Through the centuries, the theological development of the concept of Son of God has interacted with other Christological elements such as Pre-existence of Christ, Son of man, the hypostatic union, etc. For instance, in Johannine "Christology from above" which begins with the Pre-existence of Christ, Jesus did not become Son of God through the Virgin Birth, he always 'was' the Son of God.
By the 2nd century, differences had developed among various Christian groups and to defend the mainstream view in the early Church, St. Irenaeus introduced the confession: "One Christ only, Jesus the Son of God incarnate for our salvation". By referring to incarnation, this professes Jesus as the pre-existing Logos, i.e. The Word. It also professes him as both Christ and the only-begotten Son of God.
- "And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten of the Father [the only-begotten; that is, of the essence of the Father, God of God], Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father."
Saint Augustine wrote at length on the Son of God and its relationship with the Son of man, positioning the two issues in terms of the dual nature of Jesus as both divine and human in terms of the hypostatic union. He wrote:
Christ Jesus, the Son of God, is God and Man: God before all worlds, man in our world.... But since he is the only Son of God, by nature and not by grace, he became also the Son of Man that he might be full of grace as well.
However, unlike Son of God, the proclamation of Jesus as the Son of man has never been an article of faith in Christianity. The interpretation of the use of "the Son of man" and its relationship to Son of God has remained challenging and after 150 years of debate no consensus on the issue has emerged among scholars.
Just as in Romans 10:9–13 Paul emphasized the salvific value of "professing by mouth" that Jesus is Lord (Kyrion Iesoun) Augustine emphasized the value of "professing that Jesus is the Son of God" as a path to salvation.
For Saint Thomas Aquinas (who also taught the Perfection of Christ) the "'Son of God' is God as known to God". Aquinas emphasized the crucial role of the Son of God in bringing forth all of creation and taught that although humans are created in the image of God they fall short and only the Son of God is truly like God, and hence divine.
Other religions and belief systems
Islam considers Jesus (Arabic: عيسى, translit.: ʿĪsā) a highly respected prophet, but not the son of God, as runs counter to the doctrine of tawhid and thus constitute the sin of shirk. As in Christianity, Jesus had no earthly father, but is instead seen as born through the breathing of the "Spirit of God" on Mary.  Rather, the Qur'an compares the nature of his birth to the birth of Adam, who had neither mother nor father.
In the writings of the Bahá'í Faith, the term "Son of God" is applied to Jesus, but does not indicate a literal physical relationship between Jesus and God, but is symbolic and is used to indicate the very strong spiritual relationship between Jesus and God. and the source of his authority. Shoghi Effendi, the head of the Bahá'í Faith in the first half of the 20th century, also noted that the term does not indicate that the station of Jesus is superior to other prophets and messengers, that Bahá'ís name Manifestations of God, and include Jesus, Buddha, Muhammad and Baha'u'llah among others. Shoghi Effendi notes that since all Manifestations of God share the same intimate relationship with God and reflect the same light, the term Sonship can in a sense be attributable to all the Manifestations.
Throughout history, emperors and rules in diverse cultures have assumed titles that reflect their filial relationship with deities. The title "Son of Heaven" i.e. 天子 (from 天 meaning sky/heaven/god and 子 meaning child) was first used in the Western Zhou dynasty (c. 1000 B.C.). It is mentioned in the Shijing book of songs, and reflected the Zhou belief that as Son of Heaven (and as its delegate) the Emperor of China was responsible for the well being of the whole world by the Mandate of Heaven. This title may also be translated as "son of God" given that the word Ten or Tien in Chinese may either mean sky or god. The Emperor of Japan was also called the Son of Heaven (天子 tenshi) starting in the early 7th century.
Given that in Greek mythology, Heracles and many other figures, were considered sons of gods such as Zeus, from around 360 BC onwards Alexander the Great may have implied he was a demigod by using the title "Son of Ammon–Zeus". The reference in Psalm 2 to the king as the son of God implies the authority of the king and the confirmation of his being adopted as the son of God at coronation time.
Around the time of Jesus, the title "son of a god" was specially, but not exclusively, associated with Emperor Augustus. Later, it was also used to refer to Domitian. There are textual and contextual arguments for and against the translation of the Greek phrase used of Jesus by non-Jewish soldiers in Matthew 27:54 as "the son of God", "a son of God" or "a son of a god".
In 42 BC, Julius Caesar was formally deified as "the divine Julius" (divus Iulius). His adopted son, Octavian (better known by the title "Augustus" given to him 15 years later, in 27 BC) thus became known as "divi Iuli filius" (son of the divine Julius) or simply "divi filius" (son of the Divine One) because of being the adopted son of Julius Caesar. As a daring and unprecedented move, Augustus used this title to advance his political position in the Second Triumvirate, finally overcoming all rivals for power within the Roman state.
The word applied to Julius Caesar as deified was "divus", not the distinct word "deus". Thus Augustus called himself "Divi filius", and not "Dei filius". The line between been god and god-like was at times less than clear to the population at large, and Augustus seems to have been aware of the necessity of keeping the ambiguity. However, the subtle semantic distinction was lost outside Rome, where Augustus began to be worshiped as a deity. The inscription DF thus came to be used for Augustus, at times unclear which meaning was intended.
The assumption of the title "son of a god" by Augustus meshed with a larger campaign by him to exercise the power of his image. Official portraits of Augustus made even towards the end of his life continued to portray him as a handsome youth, implying that miraculously, he never aged. Given that few people had ever seen the emperor, these images sent a distinct message.
As a purely semantic mechanism, and to maintain ambiguity, the court of Augustus sustained the concept that any worship given to an emperor was paid to the "position of emperor" rather than the person of the emperor. Later, Tiberius (emperor from 14–37 AD) came to be accepted as the son of divus Augustus and Hadrian as the son of divus Trajan. By the end of the 1st century, the emperor Domitian was being called "dominus et deus" i.e. master and god. Outside the Roman Empire, the 2nd century Kushan King Kanishka I used the title devaputra meaning "son of God".
- Divine filiation
- God the Father
- Jesus in Christianity
- Jesus, King of the Jews
- Names and titles of Jesus in the New Testament
- Son of man
- Introduction to the Science of Religion by Friedrich Muller 2004 ISBN 1-4179-7401-X page 136
- Matthew and empire by Warren Carter 2001 ISBN 1-56338-342-X page 69
- Catholic Encyclopedia: Son of God
- One teacher: Jesus' teaching role in Matthew's gospel by John Yueh-Han Yieh 2004 ISBN 3-11-018151-7 pages 240–241
- Dwight Pentecost The words and works of Jesus Christ 2000 ISBN 0-310-30940-9 page 234
- The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia by Geoffrey W. Bromiley 1988 ISBN 0-8028-3785-9 page 571-572
- China : a cultural and historical dictionary by Michael Dillon 1998 ISBN 0-7007-0439-6 page 293
- East Asia: A Cultural, Social, and Political History by Patricia Ebrey, Anne Walthall, James Palais 2008 ISBN 0-547-00534-2 page 16
- A History of Japan by Hisho Saito 2010 ISBN 0-415-58538-4 page
- Early Christian literature by Helen Rhee 2005 ISBN 0-415-35488-9 pages 159–161
- The world that shaped the New Testament by Calvin J. Roetzel 2002 ISBN 0-664-22415-6 page 73
- The Oxford Dictionary of the Jewish Religion by Maxine Grossman and Adele Berlin (Mar 14, 2011) ISBN 0199730040 page 698
- The Jewish Annotated New Testament by Amy-Jill Levine and Marc Z. Brettler (Nov 15, 2011) ISBN 0195297709 page 544
- A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Gospel Volume III by W. D. Davies and Dale C. Allison Jr. (Nov 10, 2000) ISBN page 229
- The second book of the Bible: Exodus by Benno Jacob 1992 ISBN 0-88125-028-7 page 105
- "Rashi comments that the psalm 2 alludes to the encounter between the nations and the Messiah." Scherman, Nosson (Ed.) ; contributing editors, Yaakov Blinder, Avie Gold, Meir Zlotowitz ; designed by Sheah Brander (1998). Tanakh = Tanach : Torah, Neviʼim, Ketuvim : the Torah, Prophets, Writings : the twenty-four books of the Bible, newly translated and annotated (1st student size ed., Stone ed.). Brooklyn, N.Y.: Mesorah Publications. ISBN 1578191092.
- "'But who do you say that I am?' Peter answered him, 'You are Christ, the Son of the living God'. Jesus replied: 'Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah'". (Matthew 16:15–17) in: Who do you say that I am? Essays on Christology by Jack Dean Kingsbury, Mark Allan Powell, David R. Bauer 1999 ISBN 0-664-25752-6 page xvi
- Christology and the New Testament Christopher Mark Tuckett 2001 ISBN 0-664-22431-8 page
- Symbols of Jesus: a Christology of symbolic engagement by Robert C. Neville 2002 ISBN 0-521-00353-9 page 26
- Pre-Christian Judaism characteristically used "son/children of God" collectively of the whole people. In the Hebrew Bible no individual ever addresses God as "my Father". Even the one partial exception to that universal negative does not have the Davidic king directly saying to God "you are my Father (Psalms 89:26). Rather, this is a prayer which God puts in the mouth of the king. The targum to Ps. 89:27, however, has the messianic king address God as "Abba"; cf. B. Byrne, "Sons of God"—Seed of Abraham, Analecta Biblica, 83 (Rome: Biblical Institute Press, 1979), pp. 222–223.
- For this subsection and the themes treated hereinafter, compare Gerald O'Collins, Christology: A Biblical, Historical, and Systematic Study of Jesus. Oxford:Oxford University Press (2009), pp. 130–140; cf. also J. D. G. Dunn, The Theology of Paul the Apostle, Edinburgh: T&T Clark (1998), pp. 224ff.; id., Christology in the Making, London: SCM Press (1989), passim; G.D. Fee, Pauline Christology: An Exegetical-Theological Study, Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson (2007), pp. 508–557; A.C. Thiselton, The First Epistle to the Corinthians, Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eedermans (2000), pp. 631–638.
- It should be noted that Jesus' (human) consciousness of such divine sonship is one thing, whereas such (human) consciousness of divine pre-existence would be quite another thing. Cf. Byrne, loc. cit.
- Cf. J.D.G. Dunn, The Theology of Paul the Apostle, cit., pp. 224–225, 242–244, 277–278; Fee, Pauline Christology, cit., pp. 508–512, 530–557.
- For the implications of Corinthians, cf. A. C. Thiselton, The First Epistle to the Corinthians, cit., pp. 631–638.
- Other Son of God passages in Paul centre on the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus and their (immediate and final) salvific consequences. Cf. int. al., Rom. 5:10, 1 Cor. 1:9, Rom. 8:14–17, Gal. 4:6–7.
- Who do you say that I am?: essays on Christology by Jack Dean Kingsbury, Mark Allan Powell, David R. Bauer 1999 ISBN 0-664-25752-6 pages 246–251
- Who do you say that I am? Essays on Christology by Jack Dean Kingsbury, Mark Allan Powell, David R. Bauer 1999 ISBN 0-664-25752-6 page xvi
- Studies in Early Christology by Martin Hengel 2004 ISBN 0-567-04280-4 page 46
- Who is Jesus?: an introduction to Christology by Thomas P. Rausch 2003 ISBN 978-0-8146-5078-3 pages 132–133
- The Wiersbe Bible Commentary by Warren W. Wiersbe 2007 ISBN 978-0-7814-4539-9 page 245
- The person of Christ by Gerrit Cornelis Berkouwer 1954 ISBN 0-8028-4816-8 page 163
- Jesus God and Man by Wolfhart Pannenberg 1968 ISBN 0-664-24468-8 pages 53–54
- Romans 15:6, 2 Corinthians 1:3, 2 Corinthians 11:31, Ephesians 1:3, 1 Peter 1:3, Revelation 1:6
- Charles H. H. Scobie The ways of our God: an approach to biblical theology 2003 ISBN 0-8028-4950-4 p136 "God is "the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Rom 15:6; Eph 1:3), but also the Father of all believers (cf. Bassler 1992: 1054–55). Clearly this derives from the usage and teaching of Jesus himself."
- Matthew, Hebrews, and especially the Johannine literature showed more interest in the Son of God title. Cf. O'Collins, op. cit., p. 139.
- On this, see also previous sections above.
- New Testament Christians explicated their faith that "the fullness of divinity" dwelt/dwells in Jesus, [Col. 2:9] who had for them the same religious value as God. Cf. Dunn, The Theology of Paul the Apostle, cit., pp. 244–278.
- Who do you say that I am?: essays on Christology by Jack Dean Dean Kingsbury, Mark Allan Powell, David R. Bauer 1999 ISBN 0-664-25752-6 pages 73–75
- Irenaeus of Lyons by Eric Francis Osborn 2001 ISBN 978-0-521-80006-8 pages 11–114
- Readings in the History of Christian Theology by William Carl Placher 1988 ISBN 0-664-24057-7 pages 52–53
- The Augustine Catechism by Saint Augustine of Hippo 2008 ISBN 1-56548-298-0 page 68
- Jesus and the Son of Man by A J B Higgins 2002 ISBN 0-227-17221-3 pages 13–15
- Jesus Remembered: Christianity in the Making by James D. G. Dunn (Jul 29, 2003) ISBN 0802839312 pages 724–725
- The Son of Man Debate: A History and Evaluation by Delbert Royce Burkett (Jan 28, 2000) Cambridge Univ Press ISBN 0521663067 pages 3–5
- Augustine: Later Works by John Burnaby 1980 ISBN 0-664-24165-4 page 326
- Lord Jesus Christ by Larry W. Hurtado 2005 ISBN 0-8028-3167-2 page 142
- The thought of Thomas Aquinas by Brian Davies 1993 ISBN 0-19-826753-3 page 204
- Jesus: A Brief History by W. Barnes Tatum 2009 ISBN 1-4051-7019-0 page 217
- The new encyclopedia of Islam by Cyril Glassé, Huston Smith 2003 ISBN 0-7591-0190-6 page 86
- The Noble Quran V.3:59–60
- Lepard, Brian D (2008). In The Glory of the Father: The Baha'i Faith and Christianity. Bahá'í Publishing Trust. pp. 74–75. ISBN 1-931847-34-7.
- Taherzadeh, Adib (1977). The Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh, Volume 2: Adrianople 1863–68. Oxford, UK: George Ronald. p. 182. ISBN 0-85398-071-3.
- Hornby, Helen, ed. (1983). Lights of Guidance: A Bahá'í Reference File. New Delhi, India: Bahá'í Publishing Trust. p. 491. ISBN 81-85091-46-3.
- The Problem of China by Bertrand Russell 2007 ISBN 1-60520-020-4 page 23
- Boscaro, Adriana; Gatti, Franco; Raveri, Massimo, eds. (2003). Rethinking Japan: Social Sciences, Ideology and Thought II. Japan Library Limited. p. 300. ISBN 0-904404-79-X.
- Cartledge, Paul (2004). "Alexander the Great". History Today 54: 1.
- Eerdmans commentary on the Bible James D. G. Dunn, John William Rogerson 2003 ISBN 0-8028-3711-5 page 365
- The Gospel of Matthew by R. T. France 2007 ISBN 0-8028-2501-X page 1084
- Augustus by Pat Southern 1998 ISBN 0-415-16631-4 page 60
- A companion to Roman religion edited by Jörg Rüpke 2007 ISBN 1-4051-2943-3 page 80
- Gardner's art through the ages: the western perspective by Fred S. Kleiner 2008 ISBN 0-495-57355-8 page 175
- Experiencing Rome: culture, identity and power in the Roman Empire by Janet Huskinson 1999 ISBN 978-0-415-21284-7 page 81
- The Emperor Domitian by Brian W. Jones 1992 ISBN 0-415-04229-1 page 108
- Encyclopedia of ancient Asian civilizations by Charles Higham 2004 ISBN 978-0-8160-4640-9 page 352
- Borgen, Peder. Early Christianity and Hellenistic Judaism. Edinburgh: T & T Clark Publishing. 1996.
- Brown, Raymond. An Introduction to the New Testament. New York: Doubleday. 1997.
- Essays in Greco-Roman and Related Talmudic Literature. ed. by Henry A. Fischel. New York: KTAV Publishing House. 1977.
- Dunn, J. D. G., Christology in the Making, London: SCM Press. 1989.
- Ferguson, Everett. Backgrounds in Early Christianity. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing. 1993.
- Greene, Colin J. D. Christology in Cultural Perspective: Marking Out the Horizons. Grand Rapids: InterVarsity Press. Eerdmans Publishing. 2003.
- Holt, Bradley P. Thirsty for God: A Brief History of Christian Spirituality. Minneapolis: Fortress Press. 2005.
- Josephus, Flavius. Complete Works. trans. and ed. by William Whiston. Grand Rapids: Kregel Publishing. 1960.
- Letham, Robert. The Work of Christ. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press. 1993.
- Macleod, Donald. The Person of Christ. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press. 1998.
- McGrath, Alister. Historical Theology: An Introduction to the History of Christian Thought. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing. 1998.
- Neusner, Jacob. From Politics to Piety: The Emergence of Pharisaic Judaism. Providence, R. I.: Brown University. 1973.
- Norris, Richard A. Jr. The Christological Controversy. Philadelphia: Fortress Press. 1980.
- O'Collins, Gerald. Christology: A Biblical, Historical, and Systematic Study of Jesus. Oxford:Oxford University Press. 2009.
- Pelikan, Jaroslav. Development of Christian Doctrine: Some Historical Prolegomena. London: Yale University Press. 1969.
- _______ The Emergence of the Catholic Tradition (100–600). Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 1971.
- Schweitzer, Albert. Quest of the Historical Jesus: A Critical Study of the Progress from Reimarus to Wrede. trans. by W. Montgomery. London: A & C Black. 1931.
- Tyson, John R. Invitation to Christian Spirituality: An Ecumenical Anthology. New York: Oxford University Press. 1999.
- Wilson, R. Mcl. Gnosis and the New Testament. Philadelphia: Fortress Press. 1968.
- Witherington, Ben III. The Jesus Quest: The Third Search for the Jew of Nazareth. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press. 1995.
- _______ “The Gospel of John.” in The Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels. ed. by Joel Greene, Scot McKnight and I. Howard