What is the eternal sonship of Jesus? Is it biblical?

by Matt Slick

The doctrine of the eternal sonship of Jesus is the teaching that the second person of the Trinity, the Word (John 1:1,14), has always existed in relationship to the Father by being the Son. This does not mean there is a biological connection between the Father and the Son because God is spirit (John 4:24) and spirit does not have a body of flesh and bones (Luke 24:39). It is only the son who is incarnate. Instead, eternal sonship is a term that deals with relationship. Biblically, Jesus is the eternal Son of God.

Let's look at Scripture.

  • Psalm 2:7, “I will surely tell of the decree of the Lord: He said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You."
  • Proverbs 30:4, " Who has ascended into heaven and descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has wrapped the waters in His garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name or His son’s name? Surely you know!"
  • John 17:5, “Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was."
  • Colossians 1:13-17, "For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. 15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.
  • Hebrews 1:2, "in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world."
  • Hebrews 13:8, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever."

As we can see from the Scriptures, particularly in John 17:5, Jesus is praying to God "the Father" and relates to him as the Son in speaking about his glory he had with the Father before the world was made. In The Old Testament in Psalm 2:7, the pre-incarnate Christ is called the Son. In Colossians 1:13, 17 the Son is before all things. These verses demonstrate that there is a relationship between the Father and the Son that has existed from before the foundation of the universe.

Finally, in the eternal decree of God where the Son would redeem his people, the redemptive plan had been established before the universe was created. This necessitates a relationship between the Father who sent the Son to redeem his people. This would necessitate an eternal sonship of Christ in relationship to the Father.

So, it seems obvious from Scripture that the doctrine of the eternal sonship of Jesus is a biblically correct position.


About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.