Muslims often misunderstand the term, "Son of God," to mean that God literally had sexual relations with Mary to produce Jesus. That is not what the term means, nor is it what the Bible teaches. And it is not what Christianity teaches. The term, "Son of God," refers not to procreation but to a special relationship that Jesus has with God the Father.
The phrase, "Son of God," occurs 43 times in the New American Standard Bible, and it refers to Jesus. The term is specifically designated as a title in Romans 1:4, "who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord." Notice that it says that Jesus was declared the Son of God. This shows that it is a title and does not mean that He was begotten through sexual relations between God and Mary--which is a blasphemous thing to claim.
Also, Jesus calls Himself the Son in Mark 13:32, "But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone."1 And at Jesus' baptism, God speaks from Heaven and says, "Thou art My beloved Son, in Thee I am well-pleased." (Mark. 1:11). Clearly, Jesus is said that to be the Son of God by the Scriptures by the Father and by Himself.
Here are a few verses worth noting:
- John 1:49-50, "Nathanael answered Him, "Rabbi, You are the Son of God; You are the King of Israel." 50Jesus answered and said to him, "Because I said to you that I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe? You shall see greater things than these."
- Nathaniel calls Jesus the son of God, and Jesus does not correct him. Jesus affirms Nathaniel's belief.
- John 10:36-37, "do you say of Him, whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, "You are blaspheming," because I said, 'I am the Son of God?' 37 "If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me."
- Jesus is affirming that He is the Son of God.
- John 11:4, "But when Jesus heard it, He said, "This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified by it."
- Jesus calls himself the Son of God.
- John 19:7, "The Jews answered him, "We have a law, and by that law He ought to die because He made Himself out to be the Son of God."
- The Jews understood that to claim to be the Son of God was to claimed to be equal with God.
- John 20:31, "but these have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name."
- The apostle John wrote the Gospel so that we might know and believe that Jesus is the Son of God.
Son of God and Son of Man
Some say that the term, Son of God, does not mean that Jesus is God. We must ask then, does the term, Son of Man, mean that Jesus is not a man? Likewise, if the term, son of man, means that Jesus is a man, does it not imply that the term, Son of God, means that Jesus is God?
John 5:18, "Calling God His own Father"
"For this cause therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God."
Jesus is the Son of God, and He calls God His own Father. So, the problem is in understanding what the phrase Son of God means. Apparently, in the Biblical culture, it means to be equal with God as John the Apostle stated. For more information on this verse, see John 5:18, " . . . making Himself equal to God."
- 1. See If Jesus is God, then why did He not know the time of His return? for an answer to the question thus stated.