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Author Topic: Jesus - The Son of God, what does this title really mean???  (Read 7468 times) Average Rating: 0
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Irenaeus07
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« on: December 25, 2008, 09:47:14 AM »

I've been pondering of this title for sometime.  Is the title a metophor???   Because the literally meaning of Son of God would necessarily entail that the Word of God has a beginning.  And the Word of God has no beginning.  The Word of God always was and will be.  It would also entail that the Word of God separate from God (ie other than God). 

I mean God used metophors like this in the Old Testament, likening Israel as the spouse and God as the Husband.  Is it proper to see to conclude that the title Son of God in reference to Jesus as a metophor as oppose to a literal meaning???

Thoughts???
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« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2008, 10:06:36 AM »

This is a great question. Many people (myself included) accept doctrines or concepts without really truly understanding what they mean and I almost fool myself in to believing that I understand these things. Personally I have found that most interesting and thorough contemporary responses to this question to be from converts from Islam, the reason being is that in Islam there is an understanding of Jesus as a prophet and since many of the titles we use for Christ are also bestowed on him in Islam albeit with a different meaning. The change in understanding of these meanings brings about a better understanding of the terms. We have a poster here who was formerly a muslim and he might have time to give a response.
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« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2008, 10:19:05 AM »

I've been pondering of this title for sometime.  Is the title a metophor???   Because the literally meaning of Son of God would necessarily entail that the Word of God has a beginning.  And the Word of God has no beginning.  The Word of God always was and will be.  It would also entail that the Word of God separate from God (ie other than God). 

I mean God used metophors like this in the Old Testament, likening Israel as the spouse and God as the Husband.  Is it proper to see to conclude that the title Son of God in reference to Jesus as a metophor as oppose to a literal meaning???

Thoughts???
Insisting that God fit the constructs of human language again? Wink
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« Reply #3 on: December 25, 2008, 11:03:55 AM »

I've been pondering of this title for sometime.  Is the title a metophor???  
No.  It is the identification of the Son's hypostasis, and the identification of Christ as God.

Quote
Because the literally meaning of Son of God would necessarily entail that the Word of God has a beginning.

Not really.  Take for instance my son (the older).  He has a beginnng, and is now going to be 12.  I am his father, but 14 years I was NOT a Father.   I became a father only when my son came into being.  That is why we say (or rather, it has been revealed to us) that the Son is eternally begotten of the Father.  If He isn't, it would mean the hypostasis of the Father has a beginning.

Quote
  And the Word of God has no beginning.  The Word of God always was and will be.  It would also entail that the Word of God separate from God (ie other than God).

No.  Just like my son is a human, and not a jellyfish or orangutang: we have the same nature.  And just like the robot made by the scientist is not human, because it is not begotten of him, so too the Son is not a creature: He has the same consubstantial nature, i.e. one in essence with God the Father.

Quote
I mean God used metophors like this in the Old Testament, likening Israel as the spouse and God as the Husband.


but in these last days has spoken to us by a Son Whom He has appointed heir to all things, and  through Whom He made all the worlds, Who, being the radience of His glory and the image of His nature (hypostasis), He upholds all things. (Hebrews 1:2-3)

Quote
Is it proper to see to conclude that the title Son of God in reference to Jesus as a metophor as oppose to a literal meaning???

No.  It is quite literal.  Hence the reasons why we can venerate icons: we have beheld Him Who said "I AM."

This is a great question. Many people (myself included) accept doctrines or concepts without really truly understanding what they mean and I almost fool myself in to believing that I understand these things. Personally I have found that most interesting and thorough contemporary responses to this question to be from converts from Islam, the reason being is that in Islam there is an understanding of Jesus as a prophet and since many of the titles we use for Christ are also bestowed on him in Islam albeit with a different meaning. The change in understanding of these meanings brings about a better understanding of the terms. We have a poster here who was formerly a muslim and he might have time to give a response.

Yes, the Muslims misuse many titles from the NT.  But under no circumstance will they call Jesus "Son of God."  The mere mention makes them apoplectic.  They know the implication.  So does the Quran in its denial: "Neither does He begot, nor is He begotten."

The Quran also states that "Never will Christ disdain to be a servant of God" as proof of the denial of Christ's divinity.  As any reader of Phillippians knows (2:5ff), that is the proof of Christ's divinity.

It might help to know that "Son of X" means to have the nature of X.  Hence, "human" is "son of a man."  The closest you have in English is calling someone a S o B: you are really trying to say something on the son, not necessarily the mother.
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« Reply #4 on: December 25, 2008, 11:21:14 AM »

I've been pondering of this title for sometime.  Is the title a metophor???   Because the literally meaning of Son of God would necessarily entail that the Word of God has a beginning.  And the Word of God has no beginning.  The Word of God always was and will be.  It would also entail that the Word of God separate from God (ie other than God). 

I mean God used metophors like this in the Old Testament, likening Israel as the spouse and God as the Husband.  Is it proper to see to conclude that the title Son of God in reference to Jesus as a metophor as oppose to a literal meaning???

Thoughts???

Hey Iraneaus, kala Xristougenna Smiley

Could you please elaborate on your question? I would like to know what you mean when you make a distinction between the literal and figurative (metaphorical) meanings of the title "Son of God"? Even the literal interpretation of the title comes down to TWO distinct senses:

a) Jesus is the PHYSICAL/CARNAL Son of God, which denotes sexuality.

b) Jesus is TRULY the Son of God in the sense that He is a divine person co-equal with the Father.

The Islamic scripture always accuses Christians of considering Jesus God's carnal Son, which is apparent in the frequent and consistent use of the word WALAD (means child/offspring in Arabic) in reference to the basic Christian doctrine concerning Jesus' sonship.  Interestingly, some biblical scholars and missionaries lay emphasis on the FIGURATIVE sense of this title while trying to refute the Islamic charges. However, this causes more confusion and a serious problem as non-Trinitarian Christian sects/denominations point at the same FIGURATIVE sense of the same title ascribed to Jesus Christ. Those people claim that the title is a METAPHOR used by God to denote Jesus' supposed adoption at His baptism. I have come across a few Muslims who claim that the FIGURATIVE interpretation of the title denies Jesus' divinity whereas its LITERAL interpretation proves true the Islamic allegations about the Triune God's supposed affiliation with sexuality.

Besides, what do you mean when you state that this title (Son of God) would entail the eternal Word's separation from God? Don't you linguistically separate the Word from God when you call it the Word OF GOD? There is always a separation with regard to the number of persons even if you replace the word SON in the title with the word WORD.

Many unitarians and Muslims assert that the persons of the Triune Godhead cannot be equal because they remind us that the Son or the Word is the SECOND person whilst the Holy Spirit is the THIRD. According to their mentality, whoever is not the FIRST, is out of divinity and equality as being the second or the third connotes separation and distinction. However, this is only linguistically true. The linguistic order of the persons in the Triune God (1st Father 2nd Son 3rd Spirit) fails to express their THEOLOGICAL equality and unity, which we emphasise by saying that the Son/Word is ETERNALLY begotten of the Father, and the Spirit eternally proceeds from the Father.


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« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2008, 03:10:55 PM »

Merry Christmas to all!

I believe the words Son of God are not metaphorical but literal. The Son is He Who is born of the Father. We cannot fathom this eternal extemporal "birth," because it is nothing like the physical act of birth of a new organism that we are able to observe in this physical world. Nonetheless, it is real, it is a revealed truth of faith, a doctrine of the Church. We know that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are the three Persons of the Trinity and that they have the same nature or Divine essence; yet, we also know that they are truly distinct, in that the Father is not the Son and the Son is not the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit is neither the Father nor the Son. We know this only because there are these peculiar relationships between them: the Father is begetting the Son (and not vice versa); the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father (and not vice versa).
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« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2008, 07:02:03 PM »


Insisting that God fit the constructs of human language again? Wink

No, the essense of my question is, what is the proper Orthodox understanding of the title, "Son of God" in relation to Jesus???

- Irenaues07
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« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2008, 10:36:46 PM »


Insisting that God fit the constructs of human language again? Wink

No, the essense of my question is, what is the proper Orthodox understanding of the title, "Son of God" in relation to Jesus???

- Irenaues07

He is God the Son.
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« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2008, 11:55:51 PM »

It seems to me it is only a human need for a son to have a beginning, because humanity ultimately has a beginning- thus it is a matter of convention. The Trinity is not the exception, nor is the eternal Sonship; it is humanity and its requirement for beginnings which are the deviation, the exception to the rule (or Rule).
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« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2008, 12:33:40 AM »


Insisting that God fit the constructs of human language again? Wink

No, the essense of my question is, what is the proper Orthodox understanding of the title, "Son of God" in relation to Jesus???

- Irenaues07

He is God the Son.
I, the son of my father, was begotten in time (October 25 in the Year of Our Lord 1971, to be exact).  Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is begotten of the Father outside of time.  My temporal begottenness of my earthly father (and yours of your temporal father) is merely a type of Christ's eternal begottenness of His heavenly Father.
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« Reply #10 on: December 28, 2008, 05:19:17 PM »


I, the son of my father, was begotten in time (October 25 in the Year of Our Lord 1971, to be exact).  Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is begotten of the Father outside of time.  My temporal begottenness of my earthly father (and yours of your temporal father) is merely a type of Christ's eternal begottenness of His heavenly Father.

Thanks.

After reading what everybody has written here and re-reading some of the books that I have on the subject matter, I've concluded that the title Son of God is not to be taken literally.

Thanks everbody for your input. And may God bless.

- Irenaues07
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« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2008, 06:24:02 PM »


I, the son of my father, was begotten in time (October 25 in the Year of Our Lord 1971, to be exact).  Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is begotten of the Father outside of time.  My temporal begottenness of my earthly father (and yours of your temporal father) is merely a type of Christ's eternal begottenness of His heavenly Father.

Thanks.

After reading what everybody has written here and re-reading some of the books that I have on the subject matter, I've concluded that the title Son of God is not to be taken literally.
You'll be telling that to whoever is in charge of your catechumenate, no? as the Church has concluded (actually, received) otherwise.
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« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2008, 10:26:44 PM »

The way it was explained to me is that "Son of God" means Christ is of the same nature or essence (if that's the right word) of God the Father.

The son of a cat is a cat, with cat nature.  The son of a dog is a dog, with dog nature.  The son of a fish is a fish, with fish nature.  The son of a human is human, with human nature.  The Son of God is God, with God nature.  In other words, Christ is not a son by adoption, like we are.  He is literally God's Son, in the sense that He shares the same divine nature or essence as God. 

It has nothing to do with Christ suddenly coming into being the way a human baby comes into being when it is born.  That doesn't apply to Christ, because He is God eternal, with God's nature.  He is God. That is what Son of God means.

Am I making sense?
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« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2008, 11:16:53 PM »

The way it was explained to me is that "Son of God" means Christ is of the same essence (if that's the right word) of God the Father.

The son of a cat is a cat, with cat nature.  The son of a dog is a dog, with dog nature.  The son of a fish is a fish, with fish nature.  The son of a human is human, with human nature.  The Son of God is God, with God nature.  In other words, Christ is not a son by adoption, like we are.  He is literally God's Son, in the sense that He shares the same divine nature or essence as God. 

It has nothing to do with Christ suddenly coming into being the way a human baby comes into being when it is born.  That doesn't apply to Christ, because He is God eternal, with God's nature.  He is God. That is what Son of God means.

Am I making sense?

I see what you are saying, but I wouldn't call that literal.  That to me is using the title , "Son of God" in a metaphorical or figurative sense.  If I say, Mrs. Johnson is my biological mother but I still call Mrs. Wilson my mother. And than I explain, well she is my mother in the sense, she helps me out with money, she cooks me, she treats me as one of her own.  Mrs. Wilson is my mother in the metaphorical sense, because in reality she is not my mother, Mrs Johnson is my mother in the literal sense.

Most people who want to say literal in reference to Jesus being the Son of God, is because of how they feel about the matter, not that it is the reality of the matter.

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« Reply #14 on: December 28, 2008, 11:25:38 PM »

The way it was explained to me is that "Son of God" means Christ is of the same essence (if that's the right word) of God the Father.

The son of a cat is a cat, with cat nature.  The son of a dog is a dog, with dog nature.  The son of a fish is a fish, with fish nature.  The son of a human is human, with human nature.  The Son of God is God, with God nature.  In other words, Christ is not a son by adoption, like we are.  He is literally God's Son, in the sense that He shares the same divine nature or essence as God. 

It has nothing to do with Christ suddenly coming into being the way a human baby comes into being when it is born.  That doesn't apply to Christ, because He is God eternal, with God's nature.  He is God. That is what Son of God means.

Am I making sense?

I see what you are saying, but I wouldn't call that literal.  That to me is using the title , "Son of God" in a metaphorical or figurative sense.  If I say, Mrs. Johnson is my biological mother but I still call Mrs. Wilson my mother. And than I explain, well she is my mother in the sense, she helps me out with money, she cooks me, she treats me as one of her own.  Mrs. Wilson is my mother in the metaphorical sense, because in reality she is not my mother, Mrs Johnson is my mother in the literal sense.
Then, according to your analogy, how is God the Father not in reality the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ?

Most people who want to say literal in reference to Jesus being the Son of God, is because of how they feel about the matter, not that it is the reality of the matter.
Can you qualify this statement, please?  Just how is our desire to say that Jesus is literally the Son of God based on our feelings about the matter and not on reality?  What do you see as the reality of the matter?
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« Reply #15 on: December 29, 2008, 12:38:32 AM »

Hello brother Irenaeus,

You are correct in concluding that the term "Son" cannot imply a literal interpretation of "giving birth to" in reference to the Father and the Son. In that case the term son has a more metaphorical meaning that is understood better in Semitic languages but not as well in Romance languages.  In Arabic, it is common to say, "Dimitrius is the son of Egypt" though there was no conception nor birth involved between the two nouns; Egypt and Dimitrius.

We must separate the understanding and uniqueness of Christ as the Son of the Father from how the believers are the children of God.  The following article explains that well:

http://answering-islam.org/Shamoun/q_jesus_sonship.htm

You, coming from an Islamic background, are understandably cautious about using the term "Son" in connection with the term "God".  But we must remember, the Quran's objection to the Christian use of the term son has to do with the Quran's misunderstanding of Biblical and thus Christian understanding of that term when applied to Christ. According to the Quran, Christians believe that Allah had a female consort, Mary, and begat Jesus who was worshiped as a deity.  Take for example these verses from the Koran:

Quote
O followers of the Book! do not exceed the limits in your religion, and do not speak (lies) against Allah, but (speak) the truth; the Messiah, Isa son of Marium is only an apostle of Allah and His Word which He communicated to Marium and a spirit from Him; believe therefore in Allah and His apostles, and say not, Three (thalathatun). Desist, it is better for you; Allah is only one God; far be It from His glory that He should have a son, whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth is His, and Allah is sufficient for a Protector. S. 4:171


Quote
They indeed have disbelieved who say: Lo! Allah is the Messiah, son of Mary. Say: Who then can do aught against Allah, if He had willed to destroy the Messiah son of Mary, and his mother and everyone on earth? Allah's is the Sovereignty of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them. He createth what He will. And Allah is Able to do all things. S. 5:17

Quote
They are unbelievers who say, ‘God is the Messiah, Mary’s son.’ For the Messiah said, ‘Children of Israel, serve God, my Lord and your Lord. Verily whoso associates with God anything, God shall prohibit him entrance to Paradise, and his refuge shall be the Fire; and wrongdoers shall have no helpers.’ They are unbelievers who say, 'God is the Third of Three (thalithu thalathatin). No god is there but One God. If they refrain not from what they say, there shall afflict those of them that disbelieve a painful chastisement. Will they not turn to God and pray His forgiveness? God is All-forgiving, All-compassionate. The Messiah, son of Mary, was only a Messenger; Messengers before him passed away; his mother was a just woman; they both ate food. Behold, how We make clear the signs to them; then behold, how they perverted are! S. 5:70-75

Quote
And when God said, ‘O Jesus son of Mary, didst thou say unto men, "Take me and my mother as gods, apart from God"?’ He said, ‘To Thee be glory! It is not mine to say what I have no right to. If I indeed said it, Thou knowest it, knowing what is within my soul, and I know not what is within Thy soul; Thou knowest the things unseen I only said to them what Thou didst command me: "Serve God, my Lord and your Lord." And I was a witness over them, while I remained among them; but when Thou didst take me to Thyself, Thou wast Thyself the watcher over them; Thou Thyself art witness of everything.’ S. 5:116-117

From these quotes we can see that the understanding of the Trinity in Islamic thought is very confused. Basically, Muslims understand that Christians believe in Tri-theism - three gods consisting of Allah, Mary his wife and Jesus their child. This is also understandable considering the first two generations of Muslims were from a pagan background, believing in many sons and daughter of Allah. Thus the term of Son of God was taboo to them.

By the way, we have been holding annual conferences for exmuslims who have converted to Christianity, where a lot of these theological topics have been discussed. If you are in Los Angeles the last week of February 2009, we would love to have you attend and speak if you are willing. Send me a private text if you are interested.

In Christ,

Dimitrius.
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« Reply #16 on: December 29, 2008, 07:29:54 AM »


Then, according to your analogy, how is God the Father not in reality the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ?

Most people who want to say literal in reference to Jesus being the Son of God, is because of how they feel about the matter, not that it is the reality of the matter.
Can you qualify this statement, please?  Just how is our desire to say that Jesus is literally the Son of God based on our feelings about the matter and not on reality?  What do you see as the reality of the matter?


I'll put it to you this way.  For me the issue is about language.  Lingusitically can we say Jesus is the literal Son of God???  Based on what I read, Jesus is not the literal Son of God.

The Father did not have to wait for His arrival.
The Father did not have a wife, as the Word, The Word of God, did not have a Mother but as Jesus the man, He did have a mother.
The Son is not literally begotten of the Father. We don't even know what the word begotten really means in relation to Jesus and the Father, so it cannot be literal in meaning.

St. Gregory the Theologian said, "You have heard about the begetting; do not be curious to know in what form this begetting was." (Orthodox Dogmatc Theology pg 86)

Protopresbyter Michael Pomazansky said, "Although the meanings of the words "begetting" and "procession" are beyond us,...." (Orthodox Dogmatc Theology pg 87)

Bishop Kallastos Ware states, "When, therefore speak of God as Father, we are not speaking literally but in symbols." (The Orthodox Way revised edition pg 33)


- Irenaeus



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« Reply #17 on: December 29, 2008, 07:37:08 AM »

Hello brother Irenaeus,

You are correct in concluding that the term "Son" cannot imply a literal interpretation of "giving birth to" in reference to the Father and the Son. In that case the term son has a more metaphorical meaning that is understood better in Semitic languages but not as well in Romance languages.  In Arabic, it is common to say, "Dimitrius is the son of Egypt" though there was no conception nor birth involved between the two nouns; Egypt and Dimitrius.

Well I'm in good company because Jesus was Semetic.

Quote
You, coming from an Islamic background, are understandably cautious about using the term "Son" in connection with the term "God". 

I am not cautious, it's just a word. I don't care what word you use, it's an issue of what does that word mean.  How is the word being understood?  That is the issue.  What does it really mean?Huh

And thus far it does appear literal to me.

- Irenaeus
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« Reply #18 on: December 29, 2008, 10:56:00 AM »

The way it was explained to me is that "Son of God" means Christ is of the same essence (if that's the right word) of God the Father.

The son of a cat is a cat, with cat nature.  The son of a dog is a dog, with dog nature.  The son of a fish is a fish, with fish nature.  The son of a human is human, with human nature.  The Son of God is God, with God nature.  In other words, Christ is not a son by adoption, like we are.  He is literally God's Son, in the sense that He shares the same divine nature or essence as God. 

It has nothing to do with Christ suddenly coming into being the way a human baby comes into being when it is born.  That doesn't apply to Christ, because He is God eternal, with God's nature.  He is God. That is what Son of God means.

Am I making sense?

I see what you are saying, but I wouldn't call that literal.  That to me is using the title , "Son of God" in a metaphorical or figurative sense.  If I say, Mrs. Johnson is my biological mother but I still call Mrs. Wilson my mother. And than I explain, well she is my mother in the sense, she helps me out with money, she cooks me
LOL.  I hope you left out a preposition.

Sorry, but I had to take it: reminds me of the example I use to impress on my students the importance of case endings in Arabic.  I write a sentence that, depending on the ending on "mother" means either "mother cooked" or "she cooked mother."  "So you can get either Norman Rockwell or Hannibal Lector, depending on the ending."

Quote
, she treats me as one of her own.  Mrs. Wilson is my mother in the metaphorical sense, because in reality she is not my mother, Mrs Johnson is my mother in the literal sense.

Most people who want to say literal in reference to Jesus being the Son of God, is because of how they feel about the matter, not that it is the reality of the matter.

- Irenaeus07


Then, according to your analogy, how is God the Father not in reality the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ?

Most people who want to say literal in reference to Jesus being the Son of God, is because of how they feel about the matter, not that it is the reality of the matter.
Can you qualify this statement, please?  Just how is our desire to say that Jesus is literally the Son of God based on our feelings about the matter and not on reality?  What do you see as the reality of the matter?


I'll put it to you this way.  For me the issue is about language.  Lingusitically can we say Jesus is the literal Son of God???  Based on what I read, Jesus is not the literal Son of God.

The Father did not have to wait for His arrival.
The Father did not have a wife, as the Word, The Word of God, did not have a Mother but as Jesus the man, He did have a mother.
The Son is not literally begotten of the Father. We don't even know what the word begotten really means in relation to Jesus and the Father, so it cannot be literal in meaning.

St. Gregory the Theologian said, "You have heard about the begetting; do not be curious to know in what form this begetting was." (Orthodox Dogmatc Theology pg 86)

Protopresbyter Michael Pomazansky said, "Although the meanings of the words "begetting" and "procession" are beyond us,...." (Orthodox Dogmatc Theology pg 87)

Bishop Kallastos Ware states, "When, therefore speak of God as Father, we are not speaking literally but in symbols." (The Orthodox Way revised edition pg 33)


- Irenaeus

So the hangup is the fact that the term "begetting" "Son" ect. do not correspond in every particular with the same term applied to human beings?  That would be true of any term.  Hence the reason for apophatic theology.  As Salpy points out, the main thrust of the term "Son" is to show that He shares the same nature and essence with His Father, the Father.  It can't be derived from reason, the term is revealed by Him.  And it is there to show that He is not a creature, just like an artifact we make, like a statue, might look like us, but does not share our nature nor essence.

Someone said you are from a Muslim background: may I ask what type?  We have a couple of former Muslims here, and my degree was in Islamic thought and early Islamic thought: many Muslims say that they cannot believe I am not Muslim, as I know more about Islam than any Muslim they know.
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« Reply #19 on: December 29, 2008, 12:52:02 PM »

Ah ha! Christianity and Islam -- it seems -- are in agreement: Christ is not the "literal" (that is, not "possessive of every single characteristic associated with the normal, everyday, and biological usage of a particular word") Son of God. I think we are reaching ecumenical escape velocity. Grin

But didn't we already know this about Christianity and Islam, that they were using the same words, but in different ways, in regards to the "son"-ship of Christ?
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« Reply #20 on: December 29, 2008, 01:20:32 PM »

Ah ha! Christianity and Islam -- it seems -- are in agreement: Christ is not the "literal" (that is, not "possessive of every single characteristic associated with the normal, everyday, and biological usage of a particular word") Son of God.

but He is the "literal" (this is, "possessing the same nature and essence, and coterminous fatherhood with sonship of a first born, associated with the normal, everyday, and biological usage of the word") Son of God.

And since the Son became flesh and dwelt among us, and the Word spoke our words, and used the word "Son," that is the term to use.  Who is in the position to correct His usage?

Quote
I think we are reaching ecumenical escape velocity. Grin

Alas, mission scuttled.

Quote
But didn't we already know this about Christianity and Islam, that they were using the same words, but in different ways, in regards to the "son"-ship of Christ?

More than that, Muslims, if they knew the Orthodox interpretation of the word (i.e. the Word's interpretation of it), would reject that too.
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« Reply #21 on: December 30, 2008, 12:15:07 AM »

Someone said you are from a Muslim background: may I ask what type?  We have a couple of former Muslims here, and my degree was in Islamic thought and early Islamic thought: many Muslims say that they cannot believe I am not Muslim, as I know more about Islam than any Muslim they know.

I was a Sunni Muslim. Ash Shafiyya Fi Fiqh wa Ashariyya fi Aqidah wa Ash Shadhiliyya fi Tasawwuf.

It's not hard to know more than the average religious person of any religion.  The common man is ignorant concerning the particulars of their religion.

So where did you study Islamic studies???

- Irenaeus
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« Reply #22 on: December 30, 2008, 12:43:04 AM »

Someone said you are from a Muslim background: may I ask what type?  We have a couple of former Muslims here, and my degree was in Islamic thought and early Islamic thought: many Muslims say that they cannot believe I am not Muslim, as I know more about Islam than any Muslim they know.

I was a Sunni Muslim. Ash Shafiyya Fi Fiqh wa Ashariyya fi Aqidah wa Ash Shadhiliyya fi Tasawwuf.

It's not hard to know more than the average religious person of any religion.  The common man is ignorant concerning the particulars of their religion.

So where did you study Islamic studies???

University of Chicago.
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« Reply #23 on: December 31, 2008, 03:51:18 PM »



but He is the "literal" (this is, "possessing the same nature and essence, and coterminous fatherhood with sonship of a first born, associated with the normal, everyday, and biological usage of the word") Son of God.

And since the Son became flesh and dwelt among us, and the Word spoke our words, and used the word "Son," that is the term to use.  Who is in the position to correct His usage?

Lingustically is it correct or proper to view this as literal. Lingustically speaking. I'm not a grammarian so I don't know.  It doesn't seem like it is literal, it appears to be figurative.

- Irenaeus
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« Reply #24 on: December 31, 2008, 03:58:04 PM »



but He is the "literal" (this is, "possessing the same nature and essence, and coterminous fatherhood with sonship of a first born, associated with the normal, everyday, and biological usage of the word") Son of God.

And since the Son became flesh and dwelt among us, and the Word spoke our words, and used the word "Son," that is the term to use.  Who is in the position to correct His usage?

Lingustically is it correct or proper to view this as literal. Lingustically speaking. I'm not a grammarian so I don't know.  It doesn't seem like it is literal, it appears to be figurative.

- Irenaeus

I just looked the word literal.

Main Entry: 1 lit·er·al 
Pronunciation: \ˈli-t(ə-)rəl\
Function: adjective
Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French, from Medieval Latin litteralis, from Latin, of a letter, from littera letter
Date: 14th century
1 a: according with the letter of the scriptures b: adhering to fact or to the ordinary construction or primary meaning of a term or expression : actual <liberty in the literal sense is impossible — B. N. Cardozo> c: free from exaggeration or embellishment <the literal truth> d: characterized by a concern mainly with facts <a very literal man>
2: of, relating to, or expressed in letters
3: reproduced word for word : exact , verbatim <a literal translation>

I guess with the 1st definition (a) it is literal but not with the 1st (b), 1st (c).   

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« Reply #25 on: December 31, 2008, 03:58:56 PM »



but He is the "literal" (this is, "possessing the same nature and essence, and coterminous fatherhood with sonship of a first born, associated with the normal, everyday, and biological usage of the word") Son of God.

And since the Son became flesh and dwelt among us, and the Word spoke our words, and used the word "Son," that is the term to use.  Who is in the position to correct His usage?

Lingustically is it correct or proper to view this as literal. Lingustically speaking. I'm not a grammarian so I don't know.  It doesn't seem like it is literal, it appears to be figurative.

- Irenaeus
Maybe "literal" is not quite the word that ialmisry and I should be using to express our thoughts, so that you and we end up talking past each other.  Maybe what ialmisry and I are trying to say is that Jesus Christ is in reality (a reality that we can only express in words and figures of speech) the Son of God.
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« Reply #26 on: December 31, 2008, 04:05:28 PM »



but He is the "literal" (this is, "possessing the same nature and essence, and coterminous fatherhood with sonship of a first born, associated with the normal, everyday, and biological usage of the word") Son of God.

And since the Son became flesh and dwelt among us, and the Word spoke our words, and used the word "Son," that is the term to use.  Who is in the position to correct His usage?

Lingustically is it correct or proper to view this as literal. Lingustically speaking. I'm not a grammarian so I don't know.  It doesn't seem like it is literal, it appears to be figurative.

- Irenaeus
Maybe "literal" is not quite the word that ialmisry and I should be using to express our thoughts, so that you and we end up talking past each other.  Maybe what ialmisry and I are trying to say is that Jesus Christ is in reality (a reality that we can only express in words and figures of speech) the Son of God.

Perhaps a better word is scripturally, Jesus is the literal Son of God. But I don't know, I have to ponder on what that really means.  The problem I have with the word literal is because, Jesus is God.  He is not the Son of God in the sense that He is separate from the Father.  Jesus and the Father are one literally.  They can't be one and separate.  So I don't see it as literal.  It is used to distinguish the roles of the three. So it is figurative, not literal.  It is used to illustrate that He Jesus is from (need a better word because he didn't leave the father) the essense of the Father.
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« Reply #27 on: December 31, 2008, 08:11:11 PM »



but He is the "literal" (this is, "possessing the same nature and essence, and coterminous fatherhood with sonship of a first born, associated with the normal, everyday, and biological usage of the word") Son of God.

And since the Son became flesh and dwelt among us, and the Word spoke our words, and used the word "Son," that is the term to use.  Who is in the position to correct His usage?

Lingustically is it correct or proper to view this as literal. Lingustically speaking. I'm not a grammarian so I don't know.  It doesn't seem like it is literal, it appears to be figurative.

- Irenaeus
Maybe "literal" is not quite the word that ialmisry and I should be using to express our thoughts, so that you and we end up talking past each other.  Maybe what ialmisry and I are trying to say is that Jesus Christ is in reality (a reality that we can only express in words and figures of speech) the Son of God.

Yes, I think that is what we mean: in reality, in fact, in truth, etc. He is the Son of God, i.e. God the Son.
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« Reply #28 on: January 04, 2009, 02:22:04 AM »

Tangents discussing Demetrios G.'s spurious doctrines split off and moved here (thread locked): Unsupported Doctrines of Demetrios G.

Debate on Christ's Divine-Human Hypostasis and whether this makes him truly a human person split off and moved here:  Jesus Christ the God-Man, A Divine Person, Also a Human Person?
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« Reply #29 on: January 04, 2009, 03:01:00 AM »

I just wanted to link again a lecture by Fr. Behr, which ended up in one of the split off tangents.  It's such a good lecture on who Christ is, that I think it can do good in both that thread and this one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8nW0Ctf2G8
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