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Historically, many rulers have assumed titles such as son of god, son of a god or son of Heaven. Roman Emperor Augustus referred to his relation to his deified adoptive father, Julius Caesar, as "son of a god" via the term divi filius which was later also used by Domitian.
The term "son of God" is sometimes used in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible to refer to those with special relationships with God. In the Old Testament, angels, just and pious men, the descendants of Seth, and the kings of Israel are all called "sons of God." In the New Testament, Adam, and, most notably, Jesus Christ are called "son of God," while followers of Jesus are called, "sons of God."
In the New Testament, "Son of God" is applied to Jesus on many occasions. Jesus is declared to be the Son of God on two separate occasions by a voice speaking from Heaven. Jesus is also explicitly and implicitly described as the Son of God by himself and by various individuals who appear in the New Testament. As applied to Jesus, the term is a reference to his role as the Messiah, the King chosen by God. The contexts and ways in which Jesus' title, Son of God, means something more than or other than Messiah remain the subject of ongoing scholarly study and discussion.
The term "Son of God" should not be confused with the term "God the Son" (Greek: Θεός ὁ υἱός), the second person of the Trinity in Christian theology. The doctrine of the Trinity identifies Jesus as God the Son, identical in essence but distinct in person with regard to God the Father and God the Holy Spirit (the first and third Persons of the Trinity). Nontrinitarian Christians accept the application to Jesus of the term "Son of God", which is found in the New Testament, but not the term "God the Son", which is not found there.
Throughout history, emperors and rulers ranging from the Western Zhou dynasty (c. 1000 BC) in China to Alexander the Great (c. 360 BC) to the Emperor of Japan (c. 600 AD) have assumed titles that reflect a 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 BC). 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.
Among the Steppe Peoples, there was also a widespread use of "Son of God/Son of Heaven" for instance, in the Third Century B.C., the ruler was called Chanyü and similar titles were used as late as the 13th Century by Genghis Khan.
Examples of kings being considered the son of god are found throughout the Ancient Near East. Egypt in particular developed a long lasting tradition. Egyptian pharaohs are known to have been referred to as the son of a particular god and their begetting in some cases is even given in sexually explicit detail. Egyptian pharaohs did not have full parity with their divine fathers but rather were subordinate.:36 Nevertheless, in the first four dynasties, the pharaoh was considered to be the embodiment of a god. Thus, Egypt was ruled by direct theocracy, wherein "God himself is recognized as the head" of the state. During the later Amarna Period, Akhenaten reduced the Pharaoh's role to one of coregent, where the Pharaoh and God ruled as father and son. Akhenaten also took on the role of the priest of god, eliminating representation on his behalf by others. Later still, the closest Egypt came to the Jewish variant of theocracy was during the reign of Herihor. He took on the role of ruler not as a god but rather as a high-priest and king.
Jewish kings are also known to have been referred to as "son of the LORD".:150 The Jewish variant of theocracy can be thought of as a representative theocracy where the king is viewed as God’s surrogate on earth. Jewish kings thus, had less of a direct connection to god than pharaohs. Unlike pharaohs, Jewish kings rarely acted as priests, nor were prayers addressed directly to them. Rather, prayers concerning the king are addressed directly to god.:36–38 The Jewish philosopher Philo is known to have likened God to a supreme king, rather than likening Jewish kings to gods.
Based on the Bible, several kings of Damascus took the title son of Hadad. From the archaeological record a stela erected by Bar-Rakib for his father Panammuwa II contains similar language. The son of Panammuwa II a king of Sam'al referred to himself as a son of Rakib.:26–27 Rakib-El is a god who appears in Phoenician and Aramaic inscriptions. Panammuwa II died unexpectedly while in Damascus. However, his son the king Bar-Rakib was not a native of Damascus but rather the ruler of Sam'al it is unknown if other rules of Sam'al used similar language.
In Greek mythology, Heracles (son of Zeus) and many other figures were considered to be sons of gods through union with mortal women. From around 360 BC onwards Alexander the Great may have implied he was a demigod by using the title "Son of Ammon–Zeus".
In 42 BC, Julius Caesar was formally deified as "the divine Julius" (divus Iulius) after his assassination. His adopted son, Octavian (better known as Augustus, a title 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 god). 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. 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. 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 Divi filius 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.
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).
Although references to "sons of God", "son of God" and "son of the LORD" are occasionally found in Jewish literature, they never refer to physical descent from God. There are two instances where Jewish kings are figuratively referred to as a god.:150 The king is likened to the supreme king 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".
When used by the rabbis, the term referred to Israel or to human beings in general, and not as a reference to the Jewish mashiach. In Judaism the term mashiach has a broader meaning and usage and can refer to a wide range of people and objects, not necessarily related to the Jewish eschaton.
Psalm 2 is thought to be an enthronement text. The rebel nations and the uses of an iron rod are Assyrian motifs. The begetting of the king is an Egyptian one.:26 Israel’s kings are referred to as the son of the LORD. They are reborn or adopted on the day of their enthroning as the "son of the LORD".:150
Some scholars think that Psalm 110 is an alternative enthronement text. Psalm 110:1 distinguishes the king from the LORD. The LORD asks the king to sit at his right hand. Psalm 110:3 may or may not have a reference to the begetting of kings. The exact translation of 110:3 is uncertain. In the traditional Hebrew translations his youth is renewed like the morning dew. In some alternative translations the king is begotten by God like the morning dew or by the morning dew. One possible translation of 110:4 is that the king is told that he is a priest like Melchizedek. Another possibility is to translate Melchizedek not as a name but rather as a title “Righteous King”. If a reference is made to Melchizedek this could be linked to pre-Israelite Canaanite belief. The invitation to sit at the right hand of the deity and the king’s enemy’s being used as footstools are both classic Egyptian motifs, as is the association of the king with the rising sun. Many scholars now think that Israelite beliefs evolved from Canaanite beliefs.:29–33:150 Jews have traditionally believed that Psalm 110 applied only to King David. Being the first Davidic king, he had certain priest-like responsibilities.
Some believe that these psalms where not meant to apply to a single king, but rather where used during the enthronement ceremony. The fact that the Royal Psalms were preserved suggests that the influence of Egyptian and other near eastern cultures on pre-exile religion needs to be taken seriously. Ancient Egyptians used similar language to describe pharaohs. Assyrian and Canaanite influences among others are also noted.:24–38
In Isaiah 9:6 the next king is greeted, similarly to the passages in Psalms. Like Psalm 45:7-8 he is figuratively likened to the supreme king God.:150 Isaiah could also be interpreted as the birth of a royal child, Psalm 2 nevertheless leaves the accession scenario as an attractive possibility.:28 The king in 9:6 is thought to have been Hezekiah by Jews and various academic scholars.:28
4Q174 is a midrashic text in which God refers to the Davidic messiah as his son.
In 11Q13 Melchizedek is referred to as god the divine judge. Melchizedek in the bible was the king of Salem. At least some in the Qumran community seemed to think that at the end of days Melchizedek would reign as their king. The passage is based on Psalm 82.
Gabriel's Revelation, also called the Vision of Gabriel or the Jeselsohn Stone, is a three-foot-tall (one metre) stone tablet with 87 lines of Hebrew text written in ink, containing a collection of short prophecies written in the first person and dated to the late 1st century BCE. One of the stories allegedly tells of a man who was killed by the Romans and resurrected in three days. It is a tablet described as a "Dead Sea scroll in stone".
The text seems to talk about a messianic figure from Ephraim who will break evil before righteousness by three days.:43–44 Later the text talks about a “prince of princes” a leader of Israel who is killed by the evil king and not properly buried.:44 The evil king is then miraculously defeated.:45 The text seems to refer to Jeremiah Chapter 31.:43 The choice of Ephraim as the linage of the messianic figure described in the text seems to draw on passages in Jeremiah, Zechariah and Hosea. This leader is referred to as a son of God.:43–44, 48–49
The text seems to be based on a Jewish revolt recorded by Josephus dating from 4 BCE.:45–46 Based on its dating the text seems to refer to Simon of Peraea one of the three leaders of this revolt.:47
In both Joseph and Aseneth and the related text The Story of Asenath, Joseph is referred to as the son of God.:158–159 In the Prayer of Joseph both Jacob and the angel are referred to as angels and the sons of God.:157
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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.
The New Testament quotes Psalm 110 extensively as applying to Jesus. A new theological understanding of Psalm 110:1 and 110:4, distinct from that of Judaism, evolved. Jesus himself quotes Psalm 110 in Luke 20:41-44, Matthew 22:41-45 and Mark 12:35-37.:211 The meanings and authenticity of these quotations are debated among modern scholars.:204 Various modern critical scholars reject that David wrote this psalm. In the Masoretic Text many Psalm including this one are explicitly attributed to David. The superscription is “of David a psalm.” Some have suggested that this indicates that Psalm 110 was not written by David. The superscription as it stands is ambiguous. However, Jewish tradition ascribes Psalm 110 and indeed all Psalms to king David.:314–315 In Christianity David is consider to be a prophet. The New Testament records several psalms as having been spoken through David by the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:29-30 explicitly calls David a prophet. Jesus himself affirms the authorship of this psalm by David in Mark 12:36 and Matthew 22:43.:314–315 In the Christian reading, David the king is presented as having a lord other than the Lord God. The second lord is the Messiah, who is greater than David, because David calls him "my lord".:371–373 In Hebrew, the first "Lord" in Psalm 110 is "Yahweh" (יהוה), while the second is referred to as "adoni" (אדני), (my adon), a form of address that in the Old Testament is used generally for humans but also, in Judges 6:13, for the theophanic Angel of the Lord.:319 The Greek-speaking Jewish philosopher Philo, a contemporary of Jesus, identified the Angel of the Lord with his version of the logos distinct from the later Christian logos.
It’s debated when exactly Christians came to understand Psalm 110 as introducing a distinction of persons in the Godhead and indicating that Jesus was more than a human or angelic messiah, but also a divine entity who was David’s lord.:202–205, 210–11 Hebrews 1:13 again quotes Psalm 110 to prove that the Son is superior to angels.:272:939 Psalm 110 would play a crucial role in the development of the early Christian understanding of the divinity of Jesus. The final reading of Psalm 110:1 incorporated a Preexistent Son of God greater than both David and the angels. The Apostle Creed, The Nicaea Creed and the Creed of Constantinople would all included references to Psalm 110:1.:272
Psalm 2:7 reads
I will tell of the decree of the Lord: He said to me, "You are my son; today I have begotten you. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron, and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel."
Psalm 2 can be seen as referring to a particular king of Judah, but has also been understood to reference the awaited Messiah. References to Psalm 2 in the New Testament are less common then Psalm 110. The passages in Acts, Hebrews and Romans that refer to it give the appearance of being linked with Jesus’ resurrection and/or exaltation. Those in the Gospels associate it with Jesus' baptism and transfiguration. The majority of scholars believe that the earliest Christian use of this Psalm was in relation to his resurrection, suggesting that this was initially thought of as the moment when he became Son, a status that the early Christians later extended back to his earthly life, to the beginning of that earthly life and, later still, to his pre-existence, a view that Aquila Hyung Il Lee questions.:250–251
The terms "sons of God" and "son of God" appear frequently in Jewish literature, and leaders of the people, kings and princes were called "sons of God". 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.
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 1:32-35 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."
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.
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.
In the Gospel of John, 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.
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".
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" because his declaration had been revealed him by "my Father who is in Heaven". According to John Yieh, in this account the evangelist Matthew is unequivocally stating this as the church's view of Jesus.
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.
Humans, including the New Testament writers, calling Jesus Son of God
Attributed to Jesus himself
Unclear whether attributed to Jesus himself or only a comment of the evangelist
God the Father referring to Jesus as his son
Angels calling Jesus Son of God
Jesus referred to as the Son:
The God and Father of Jesus
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.
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.
In Islam, Jesus (Arabic: عيسى, translit.: ʿĪsā) is considered to be the Messiah and a highly respected prophet sent to the Children of Israel,[Quran 3:45] but not the son of God. As in Christianity, Jesus had no earthly father, but is instead seen as born through the breathing of the "Spirit of God" on Mary. The Qur'an compares the nature of his birth to the birth of Adam, who had neither mother nor father. The Qur'an also asserts that God has no begotten son as in the verse "He begets not, nor is He begotten."  The birth of Jesus without a father, is stated in the following verse of the Quran:
She (Mary) said, "My Lord, how will I have a child when no man has touched me?" [The angel] said, "Such is Allah ; He creates what He wills. When He decrees a matter, He only says to it, 'Be,' and it is.
The Quran challenges the acceptance of Jesus or other person as the son of God in the following verse:
O People of the Scripture, do not commit excess in your religion or say about Allah except the truth. The Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, was but a messenger of Allah and His word which He directed to Mary and a soul [created at a command] from Him. So believe in Allah and His messengers. And do not say, "Three"; desist - it is better for you. Indeed, Allah is but one God. Exalted is He above having a son. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. And sufficient is Allah as Disposer of affairs.
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, including 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.
The tablet, probably found near the Dead Sea in Jordan according to some scholars who have studied it, is a rare example of a stone with ink writings from that era — in essence, a Dead Sea Scroll on stone.