God the Son

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God resting after creation - Christ depicted as the creator of the world, Byzantine mosaic in Monreale, Sicily. Monreale god resting after creation.jpg
God resting after creation – Christ depicted as the creator of the world, Byzantine mosaic in Monreale, Sicily.

God the Son (Greek : Θεός ὁ υἱός) is the second person of the Trinity in Christian theology [1] . The doctrine of the Trinity identifies Jesus as the incarnation of God, united in essence (consubstantial) but distinct in person with regard to God the Father and God the Holy Spirit (the first and third persons of the Trinity).

Greek language Language spoken in Greece, Cyprus and Southern Albania

Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages, native to Greece, Cyprus and other parts of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea. It has the longest documented history of any living Indo-European language, spanning more than 3000 years of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the major part of its history; other systems, such as Linear B and the Cypriot syllabary, were used previously. The alphabet arose from the Phoenician script and was in turn the basis of the Latin, Cyrillic, Armenian, Coptic, Gothic, and many other writing systems.

Trinity Christian doctrine that God is one God, but three coeternal consubstantial persons

The Christian doctrine of the Trinity holds that God is one God, but three coeternal consubstantial persons or hypostases—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—as "one God in three Divine Persons". The three Persons are distinct, yet are one "substance, essence or nature" (homoousios). In this context, a "nature" is what one is, whereas a "person" is who one is. Sometimes differing views are referred to as nontrinitarian. Trinitarianism contrasts with positions such as Binitarianism and Monarchianism, of which Modalistic Monarchianism and Unitarianism are subsets.

Christian theology is the theology of Christian belief and practice. Such study concentrates primarily upon the texts of the Old Testament and of the New Testament, as well as on Christian tradition. Christian theologians use biblical exegesis, rational analysis and argument. Theologians may undertake the study of Christian theology for a variety of reasons, such as in order to:

Contents

Source

The phrase "God the Son" is not found in the Bible, [2] [3] but is found in later Christian sources. [4] By scribal error the term is in one medieval manuscript, MS No.1985, where Galatians 2:20 has "Son of God" changed to "God the Son". [5]

The term in English follows Latin usage as found in the Athanasian Creed and other texts of the early church: In Greek "God the Son" is Theos o Iios (Θεόςυἱός) as distinct from o Iios nominative tu Theu genitive, ὁ υἱός του Θεού, "Son of God". In Latin "God the Son" is Deus (nominative) Filius (nominative). The term deus filius is found in the Athanasian Creed: "Et tamen non tres omnipotentes, sed unus omnipotens. Ita Deus Pater, Deus Filius, Deus [et] Spiritus Sanctus." (distinct from filius Dei genitive "son of God"), but this phrase is also translated "So the Father is God: the Son is God: and the Holy Ghost is God". [6]

Athanasian Creed creed named for Athanasius but not written by him, defines the Christian Trinity

The Athanasian Creed, also known as Pseudo-Athanasian Creed or Quicunque Vult, is a Christian statement of belief focused on Trinitarian doctrine and Christology. The Latin name of the creed, Quicunque vult, is taken from the opening words, "Whosoever wishes". The creed has been used by Christian churches since the sixth century. It is the first creed in which the equality of the three persons of the Trinity is explicitly stated. It differs from the Nicene-Constantinopolitan and Apostles' Creeds in the inclusion of anathemas, or condemnations of those who disagree with the creed.

Son of God religious title, designating a monarch, messiah, demigod, or deity

Historically, many rulers have assumed titles such as son of God, son of a god or son of heaven.

Usage

The term deus filius is used in the Athanasian Creed and formulas such as Deus Pater, Deus Filius, Deus Spiritus Sanctus: Et non tres Dii, sed unus est Deus. [7]

The term is used by Saint Augustine in his On the Trinity , for example in discussion of the Son's obedience to God the Father: deo patri deus filius obediens. [8] and in Sermon 90 on the New Testament "2. For hold this fast as a firm and settled truth, if you would continue Catholics, that God the Father begot God the Son without time, and made Him of a Virgin in time." [9]

Augustine of Hippo early Christian theologian and philosopher

Saint Augustine of Hippo was a Roman African, early Christian theologian and philosopher from Numidia whose writings influenced the development of Western Christianity and Western philosophy. He was the bishop of Hippo Regius in North Africa and is viewed as one of the most important Church Fathers in Western Christianity for his writings in the Patristic Period. Among his most important works are The City of God, De doctrina Christiana, and Confessions.

<i>On the Trinity</i> book written by Augustine of Hippo

On the Trinity is a Latin book written by Augustine of Hippo to discuss the Trinity in context of the logos. Although not as well known as some of his other works, it is arguably his masterpiece and of more doctrinal importance than the Confessions or City of God.

The Augsburg Confession (1530) adopted the phrase as Gott der Sohn. [10]

Augsburg Confession primary confession of faith of the Lutheran Church and one of the most important documents of the Protestant Reformation

The Augsburg Confession, also known as the Augustan Confession or the Augustana from its Latin name, Confessio Augustana, is the primary confession of faith of the Lutheran Church and one of the most important documents of the Protestant Reformation. The Augsburg Confession was written in both German and Latin and was presented by a number of German rulers and free-cities at the Diet of Augsburg on 25 June 1530.

Jacques Forget (1910) in the Catholic Encyclopedia article "Holy Ghost" notes that "Among the apologists, Athenagoras mentions the Holy Ghost along with, and on the same plane as, the Father and the Son. 'Who would not be astonished', says he (A Plea for the Christians 10), 'to hear us called atheists, us who confess God the Father, God the Son and the Holy Ghost, and hold them one in power and distinct in order.' " [11]

New Testament

Stained glass window of Jesus Christ, Peter and Paul Cathedral, St. Petersburg, Russia. Vitrazh v Petropavlovskom sobore.jpg
Stained glass window of Jesus Christ, Peter and Paul Cathedral, St. Petersburg, Russia.

"Son of God" is used to refer to Jesus in the Gospel of Mark at the beginning in verse 1:1 and at its end in chapter 15 verse 39. Max Botner wrote, "Indeed, if Mark 1:1 presents the "normative understanding" of Jesus' identity, then it makes a significant difference what the text includes". [12]

The Logos or Word in the Gospel of John text, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" [John 1:1] , is the God's utterance, expressing His will & thoughts in His revelation & creation. The text is often interpreted especially by the Trinitarians to identify the 'pre-existent' Jesus with this Word.

The disputed Comma Johanneum (1 John 5:7) includes the Son in the formula "For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one." [13]

Christian belief affirms that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God. [John 3:16] [14] Jesus identified himself in New Testament canonical writings. "Jesus said to them, 'Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.' " [John 8:58] [15] , which some Trinitarians believe is a reference to Moses in his interaction with preincarnate God in the Old Testament.  "And God said to Moses, 'I AM WHO I AM.' And He said, 'Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, "I AM has sent me to you." ' [Exodus 3:14] [16]

A manuscript variant in John 1:18 (Θεὸν οὐδεὶς ἑώρακεν πώποτε· μονογενὴς Θεὸς ὁ ὢν εἰς τὸν κόλπον τοῦ Πατρὸς, ἐκεῖνος ἐξηγήσατο) has led to translations including "God the One and Only" (NIV, 1984) referring to the Son. [17]

Later theological use of this expression (compare Latin: Deus Filius) reflects what came to be the standard interpretation of New Testament references, understood to imply Jesus' divinity, but with the distinction of his person from another person of the Trinity called the Father. As such, the title is associated more with the development of the doctrine of the Trinity. Trinitarians believe that a clear reference to the Trinity occurs in Matthew 28:19 , "Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."

See also

Related Research Articles

Arianism is a nontrinitarian Christological doctrine which asserts the belief that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who was begotten by God the Father at a point in time, a creature distinct from the Father and is therefore subordinate to him, but the Son is also God. Arian teachings were first attributed to Arius, a Christian presbyter in Alexandria of Egypt. The term "Arian" is derived from the name Arius; and like "Christian", it was not a self-chosen designation but bestowed by hostile opponents—and never accepted by those on whom it had been imposed. The nature of Arius's teaching and his supporters were opposed to the theological views held by Homoousian Christians, regarding the nature of the Trinity and the nature of Christ. The Arian concept of Christ is based on the belief that the Son of God did not always exist but was begotten within time by God the Father.

Filioque is a Latin term added to the original Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed, and which has been the subject of great controversy between Eastern and Western Christianity. It is not in the original text of the Creed, attributed to the First Council of Constantinople (381), the second ecumenical council, which says that the Holy Spirit proceeds "from the Father", without additions of any kind, such as "and the Son" or "alone".

Nicene Creed Statement of belief adopted at the First Ecumenical Council in 325

The Nicene Creed is a statement of belief widely used in Christian liturgy. It is called Nicene because it was originally adopted in the city of Nicaea by the First Council of Nicaea in 325. In 381, it was amended at the First Council of Constantinople, and the amended form is referred to as the Nicene or the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed.

Nontrinitarianism A form of Christianity that rejects the mainstream Christian doctrine of the Trinity

Nontrinitarianism is a form of Christianity that rejects the mainstream Christian doctrine of the Trinity—the teaching that God is three distinct hypostases or persons who are coeternal, coequal, and indivisibly united in one being, or essence. Certain religious groups that emerged during the Protestant Reformation have historically been known as antitrinitarian, but are not considered Protestant in popular discourse due to their nontrinitarian nature.

Arius priest in Alexandria; founder of Arianism

Arius was a Libyan presbyter and ascetic, and priest in Baucalis in Alexandria, Egypt. His teachings about the nature of the Godhead in Christianity, which emphasized God the Father's uniqueness and Christ's subordination under the Father, and his opposition to what would become the dominant Christology, Homoousian Christology, made him a primary topic of the First Council of Nicaea, which was convened by Emperor Constantine the Great in 325.

God the Father in Christianity, the first of the three persons of the Trinity, who begets the Son and from whom the Holy Spirit proceeds

God the Father is a title given to God in various religions, most prominently in Christianity. In mainstream trinitarian Christianity, God the Father is regarded as the first person of the Trinity, followed by the second person, God the Son, and the third person, God the Holy Spirit. Since the second century, Christian creeds included affirmation of belief in "God the Father (Almighty)", primarily as his capacity as "Father and creator of the universe". However, in Christianity the concept of God as the father of Jesus Christ goes metaphysically further than the concept of God as the Creator and father of all people, as indicated in the Apostle's Creed where the expression of belief in the "Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth" is immediately, but separately followed by in "Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord", thus expressing both senses of fatherhood.

The Johannine Comma is an interpolated phrase in the First Epistle of John 5:7-8. It became a touchpoint for Protestant and Catholic debates over the doctrine of the Trinity in the early modern period.

Sanctus

The Sanctus is a hymn in Christian liturgy. It may also be called the epinikios hymnos when referring to the Greek rendition.

Shield of the Trinity medieval triangular diagram of the Christian Trinity; summarizes the first half of the Athanasian Creed

The Shield of the Trinity or Scutum Fidei is a traditional Christian visual symbol which expresses many aspects of the doctrine of the Trinity, summarizing the first part of the Athanasian Creed in a compact diagram. In late medieval Europe, this emblem was considered to be the heraldic arms of God.

Subordinationism is a belief that began within early Christianity that asserts that the Son and the Holy Spirit are subordinate to God the Father in nature and being. Various forms of subordinationism were believed or condemned until the mid-4th century, when the debate was decided against subordinationism as an element of the Arian controversy. In 381, after many decades of formulating the doctrine of the Trinity, the First Council of Constantinople condemned Arianism.

John 1:1 verse of the Bible

John 1:1 is the first verse in the opening chapter of the Gospel of John. In the Douay–Rheims, King James, New International, and other versions of the Bible, the verse reads:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

God in Christianity is the eternal being who created and preserves all things. Christians believe God to be both transcendent and immanent. Christian teachings of the immanence and involvement of God and his love for humanity exclude the belief that God is of the same substance as the created universe but accept that God's divine nature was hypostatically united to human nature in the person of Jesus Christ, in an event known as the Incarnation.

Whether the earliest Church Fathers believed in the Trinity is a subject for debate. Some of the evidence used to support an early belief in the Trinity are triadic statements from the New Testament and the Church Fathers. The view that the Son was 'of the essence of the Father, God of God...very God of very God' was formally ratified at the First Council of Nicaea in 325 AD. The Holy Spirit was included at the First Council of Constantinople, where the relationship between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as one substance (ousia) and three co-equal persons (hypostaseis) was formally ratified.

This is a glossary of terms used in Christianity.

Only-Begotten Son, sometimes called "Justinian's Hymn", and/or the "Hymn of the Incarnation", was composed around the 4th or 5th centuries. This hymn is chanted at the end of the Second Antiphon during the Divine Liturgies of St John Chrysostom, St Basil the Great and of St Gregory the Illuminator.

The Jesus' Name doctrine or the Oneness doctrine upholds that baptism is to be performed "in the name of Jesus Christ," rather than the Trinitarian formula "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." It is most commonly associated with Oneness Christology and Oneness Pentecostalism, however, some Trinitarians also baptise in Jesus' name.

Holy Spirit in Christianity The third person of the Trinity in trinitarian Christianity

For the majority of Christian denominations, the Holy Spirit, or Holy Ghost, is the third person of the Trinity: the Triune God manifested as God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit; each entity itself being God. Nontrinitarian Christians, who reject the doctrine of the Trinity, differ significantly from mainstream Christianity in their beliefs about the Holy Spirit. In Christian theology, pneumatology refers to the study of the Holy Spirit. Due to Christianity's historical relationship with Judaism, theologians often identify the Holy Spirit with the concept of the Ruach Hakodesh in Jewish scripture, in the belief Jesus was expanding upon these Jewish concepts. Similar names, and ideas, include the Ruach Elohim, Ruach YHWH, and the Ruach Hakmah. In the New Testament it is identified with the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit of Truth, the Paraclete and the Holy Spirit.

Patriology or Paterology, in Christian theology, refers to the study of God the Father. Both terms are derived from two Greek words: πατήρ and λογος. As a distinctive theological discipline, Patriology or Paterology is closely connected with Christology and Pneumatology.

Textual variants in the Epistle of James Textual variants in the Epistle of James

Textual variants in the Epistle of James are the subject of the study called textual criticism of the New Testament. Textual variants in manuscripts arise when a copyist makes deliberate or inadvertent alterations to a text that is being reproduced. An abbreviated list of textual variants in this particular book is given in this article below.

References

  1. Gilles Emery (2011). The Trinity: An Introduction to Catholic Doctrine on the Triune God. Catholic University of America Press. ISBN   978-0-8132-1864-9.
  2. Burnap, George Washington (1845). Expository lectures on the principal passages of the Scriptures which relate. Boston, Massachusetts: James Munroe and Company. p. 19. Retrieved 2015-01-18. There is no such phrase in the Bible, as 'God the Son,' or 'God the Holy Ghost.'
  3. Rhodes, Ron (2001). The Challenge of the Cults and New Religions: The Essential Guide to Their History, Their Doctrine, and Our Response. Zondervan, Michigan: Zondervan. p. 258. ISBN   0310232171 . Retrieved 2015-01-18. Oneness Pentecostals argue that Scripture never indicates that Jesus' sonship is an eternal sonship. The term 'eternal Son' is never found in the Bible. Nor is the term 'God the Son' in the Bible.
  4. Hick, John (1993). The Metaphor of God Incarnate: Christology in a Pluralistic Age (2nd ed.). Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press. p. 31. ISBN   0664230377 . Retrieved 2015-01-18. One notes that it does not aspire beyond the pre-trinitarian notion of 'Son of God' to the properly trinitarian idea of 'God the Son.'
  5. Ehrman, Bart D. (1993). The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture: The Effect of Early Christological Controversies On The Text of The New Testament. New York, New York: Oxford University Press. p. 86. ISBN   9780195102796 . Retrieved 2015-01-18. ... by adding precisely the words that had earlier been omitted, tov viov, but in the wrong place, making the text now read 'faith in God the Son ...' neither of the other expressions ('God even Christ,' 'God the Son') occurs in this way in Paul.
  6. Philip Schaff (1877b), The Creeds of Christendom.
  7. F. Donald Logan A history of the church in the Middle Ages Page 10 2002 "It was later to be summed up in the Athanasian Creed: Ita deus pater, deus filius, deus spiritus sanctus, Et tamen non tres dii, sed unus est deus. (Thus, God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, Yet not three gods but one God."
  8. Luigi Gioia The theological epistemology of Augustine's De Trinitate 2008 "... the obedience of Christ on the cross is the obedience of God the Son to God the Father: 'what greater example of obedience' ... exemplum qui per inobedientiam perieramus quam deo patri deus filius obediens usque ad mortem crucis?"
  9. MacMullen translation 1888 http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/160390.htm
  10. The Augsburg Confession: a commentary Leif Grane, John H. Rasmussen – 1987 "GT: "Dass Gott der Sohn sei Mensch worden, geborn aus der reinen Jungfrauen Maria" (that God the Son became man, born of the virgin Mary)."
  11. Jacques Forget (1910) in the Catholic Encyclopedia article "Holy Ghost"
  12. Botner, Max (Jul 2015). "The Role of Transcriptional Probability in the Text-Critical Debateon Mark 1:1". Catholic Biblical Quarterly. 77 (3): 468, 467–480.
  13. "1 John 5:7". Biblia.com. Faithlife. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
  14. "John 3:16 | The New King James Version". Biblia. Retrieved 2017-06-21.
  15. "John 8:58 | The New King James Version". Biblia. Retrieved 2017-06-21.
  16. "Exodus 3:14 | The New King James Version". Biblia. Retrieved 2017-06-21.
  17. "John 1:18 No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known". bible.cc.