Forum Thread

Did Jesus Consider Himself the Son of God?

Reply to ThreadDisplaying 1 - 15 of 176 1 2 3 4 5 .. 12 Next
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
    Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        
    What did Jesus consider himself? This is a question I have spent countless hours pondering throughout my life and one that has recently come back in to the forefront after I read "Zealot," by Reza Aslan. The book spent a lot of time discussing one question: Did Jesus himself think he was the son of God?

    It's a question that is truly unique. So many writings about Jesus come from the New Testament. However, the New Testament was written in Greek. It is a well known fact that Jesus spoke Aramaic, the language that was widely used in 1st Century Judea. According to the Aramaic translation, Jesus referred to himself as the "Son of Man" not the "Son of God." While that may not seem like a big deal to the layperson, it is a big deal to many scholars who have spent their careers studying Jesus.

    I do understand that religion is a touchy subject, especially on this site, but I believe it's important to have rational and civil debates about who exactly Jesus was and what HE felt his purpose was. Billions of people have put words in to his mouth for two millennia now, but what did he feel his place in the world was? There were countless self proclaimed prophets roaming the Middle East 2,000 years ago and I believe its a valid question to ask.

    One thing I ask in this thread is to keep the debate civil. Christians, Jews, Atheists, Agnostics, and anyone else should feel free to give their two cents. I just hope we can respect each others beliefs while putting forward our own.
  • Strongly Liberal
    Independent
    Seattle, WA
    Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        
    I like Reza Aslan's work. I particularly like his articles on the history of Islam, how it was first divided between Sunnis and Shiites, etc. I have read several articles of his and I generally like what he has to say, even though in Zealot he is grossly wrong to claim Jesus was not a pacifist. Aslan totally misunderstands what Jesus meant when he said "I come not to bring peace," because Jesus said that merely because he knew the age that is now passing has been one of conflict and division, marked by wars.

    I recommend an article About Christianity, because it explains that, and it submits how Jesus knew that he was a Mashiach (Messiah) and son of man in the Jewish tradition, and that all men (and women) can realize the Spirit of truth within and realize they are offspring of God.

    What makes the article unique is that it also submits that Jesus was also a Bodhisattva in the Buddhist tradition, as is revealed in books such as Jesus and Buddha: The Parallel Sayings, by Marcus Borg et al, or Going Home: Jesus and Buddha as Brothers, by Thich Nhat Hanh, or one of the many other books on the subject.

    Additionally, the article submits that Jesus was also the Avatar of the age he ushered in, not only because he said he was "one with God" and "Before Abraham was, I am," but also because a number of his parables are very similar to those that can be read in the Hindu Vedas. And that makes sense since Jesus spoke of prophecy being fulfilled at the end of the age (or olam or aeon or yuga), which is now coming nearer.
  • Liberal
    Independent
    Durham, NH
    Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        
    jaredsxtn Wrote: What did Jesus consider himself? This is a question I have spent countless hours pondering throughout my life and one that has recently come back in to the forefront after I read "Zealot," by Reza Aslan. The book spent a lot of time discussing one question: Did Jesus himself think he was the son of God?

    It's a question that is truly unique. So many writings about Jesus come from the New Testament. However, the New Testament was written in Greek. It is a well known fact that Jesus spoke Aramaic, the language that was widely used in 1st Century Judea. According to the Aramaic translation, Jesus referred to himself as the "Son of Man" not the "Son of God." While that may not seem like a big deal to the layperson, it is a big deal to many scholars who have spent their careers studying Jesus.

    I do understand that religion is a touchy subject, especially on this site, but I believe it's important to have rational and civil debates about who exactly Jesus was and what HE felt his purpose was. Billions of people have put words in to his mouth for two millennia now, but what did he feel his place in the world was? There were countless self proclaimed prophets roaming the Middle East 2,000 years ago and I believe its a valid question to ask.

    One thing I ask in this thread is to keep the debate civil. Christians, Jews, Atheists, Agnostics, and anyone else should feel free to give their two cents. I just hope we can respect each others beliefs while putting forward our own.
    i've read Zealot and enjoyed it for what it is - as factual, if not more so, than the Bible, for sure. I've been trying to get thru his book on Muhammad (No God but God) but I find it to be extremely tiring and boring and full of (in my opinion) nonsense and pretty much gave up half way through it. People will believe whatever makes them feel good and magic and superstition doesn't do anything for me!
  • Democrat
    Missouri
    Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        
    Jared, This will not be solved in our lifetimes. This question has baffled theologians for 2000 thousand years. However, I have to question your statement by Jesus not actually saying him as the "Son of God". Matthew 16:16 and John 8:58 is only two of many, although I do recognize that Jesus also referred himself as "Son of Man" many times. So what's the difference? Not much unless you look into the distinction of what and how Jesus respond to the public.

    1. Jesus came down from the whelm of God as God's ONLY Son.
    2. Jesus is an extension of God and actually God Himself.
    3. The Holy Trinity which is encompassing all of God's glory is "God the Holy Father Almighty, Jesus Christ the Son of God, and the Holy Spirit".

    The Son of Man helps define the purpose of why he is the Son of Man as related to us, so that He could save us from sin. Also, the Son of Man may be defined as God becoming man or God manifest in the flesh.

    These are very difficult thought-provoking areas in theology. Even PHD's in religion have difficulty in explaining to lay people and other scholars. The reason of difficulty is that people do not believe and they would rather be lost in translations and science in attempting to answer God's plan for all of us. I really find no issue with this topic, because I'm very comfortable with my faith.

    A good start on researching this is searching on the Internet, "Son of God versus Son of Man". Be ready for an explosion of thought provoking ideology from a variety of authors. However, the best start I would advocate and support is Read your Bible. over and over and over. Don't stop there, join Bible reading groups and discuss the scripture. Many get lots of enjoyment doing this and you may even find a group that regularly opens a bottle of wine to warm up the readers (for you PGR and Dutch).

    Thanks for the topic, Jared. I hope there is some responses that keep it clean and sane. This could bring out the Satan in people and be nasty.




  • Strongly Liberal
    Independent
    Seattle, WA
    Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        
    AmcmurryFreedom Wrote: This will not be solved in our lifetimes. This question has baffled theologians for 2000 thousand years. However, I have to question your statement by Jesus not actually saying him as the "Son of God". Matthew 16:16 and John 8:58 is only two of many, although I do recognize that Jesus also referred himself as "Son of Man" many times. So what's the difference?
    .
    According to prophecy by Jesus of Nazareth --- a son of man and son of God who said all men may realize they are sons of God --- this is solved at the end of the age (or aeon) that he ushered in, by one who bears his testimony. And the one who bears his testimony is a "son of man" in the tradition of the countless servants of God mentioned in the Hebrew Bible (Torah and Tanakh, or "Old Testament") who were also called "son of man."
    .
  • Democrat
    Missouri
    Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        
    good Guy, I'll see you at the end of ages..........but try to convince the world this,...... will be another battle.
  • Independent
    Widefield, CO
    Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        
    Small correction AMC... Jesus is believed to be God's only BEGOTTON son. The only one fathered by God. Jesus says many times that we are all sons and daughters of God... Other than that I agree with what you said.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
    Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        
    Statements made like the "son of god"; it depends which "god"? ; how many "god's" did people have invented since the beginning of times? Then the subject "human" did not fly in from Mars either, but was born as a "human" baby; nor wrote anything himself ; thus only after about more than 40 years after his death an other "human" wrote this nonsense.

    As I said before "humans" run this planet, and only humans write; until now I've not seen any "god" write anything at all. Considering the size of the universe we as totally independant microbes think we know it all; but we don't and as a bunch of nitwits, dictate the universe that a "human" is a "god".

    If there is anything like it it certainly does not may not have any "sons" at all; unless someone digs up the DNA and can match it with the never seen; never talked to or ever recorded "anything"; because the "thing" never talked to anyone; this applies to all whatever human created "god's". So I'm glad that humanity admits that they do only "believe" HUMAN writing as a bunch of sheep only; without facts.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
    Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        
    RanmaMOJ Wrote: Small correction AMC... Jesus is believed to be God's only BEGOTTON son. The only one fathered by God. Jesus says many times that we are all sons and daughters of God... Other than that I agree with what you said.
    It's very difficult to take much of what Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John say at face value. They are quoting Jesus first hand, but the sticky issue is that Mark, the first canonized gospel, was written between 66-70 CE, over thirty years after Jesus was killed. John, where the "begotton" phrase comes from, was written over twenty years later and used the other three gospels as his predominate sources.
  • Democrat
    Missouri
    Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        
    Although, I see that RunMO incorrectly read my response, I did say distinctly that "That Jesus was God's ONLY son". So, RunMo needs to read more clearly what people respond before attempting any correction.

    I believe in the Trinity, which relates where our God and Deity intervenes into humanity to define where God is in the complete picture.

    Throughout history, there is always the connections of when and where scriptures were laid down. I find these theories that develop and individuals making a statement, "it is Fact". It's only fact in the mind of the originator and for that it is often disproven time and time again. I can't think of the many times someone has stated, "it's a fact", to be silenced when someone indicates how false he may be.

    The only fact I CHOOSE to believe is God is my Holy father, His Only Son Jesus is my Lord and Savior, and God has blessed me with His Holy Spirit.

    Pretty simple for me and anything beyond that, is trivial and a waste of my time to solve for somebody. I always have opinions, but that is what they are opinions and not facts. Jesus as the Only Son of God is an example of how God's intervention into humanity became part of mankind.
  • Liberal
    Independent
    Durham, NH
    Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        
    AM what makes you want to believe such foolishness? You can say you believe in a supreme being that created the universe and no one can prove you right or wrong but this trinity nonsense is nothing more than blind, ignorant belief in superstition with NO basis in fact or truth whatsoever!

    Why not say "I would like to think there is a supreme being out there somewhere" and at least not make a fool of yourself by reciting superstitious, meaningless tripe spoon fed you by those who only want to control your mind and wallet! You can do yourself a lot better than repeating this blind adherence to religion.
  • Strongly Liberal
    Independent
    Seattle, WA
    Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        
    Jaredsxtn,

    Speaking of when the books of the NT were written, I've found that the work of Marcus Borg is very helpful and knowledgeable. There's an article of his on A Chronological New Testament that I recommend highly. It reveals that there is a general consensus among mainstream progressive Christian scholars that the first seven Christian texts produced were written by Paul around 50 CE, twenty years before the first gospel written by Mark.

    I also recommend an article on The Resurrection Story, because it agrees with Borg and most other progressive scholars about that, and it goes through the resurrection story from Paul's work to Mark's, then Matthew's and so on, detailing how the story developed and changed over time.
  • Strongly Liberal
    Independent
    Seattle, WA
    Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        
    AmcmurryFreedom Wrote: good Guy, I'll see you at the end of ages..........but try to convince the world this,...... will be another battle.
    .
    Well, you're right in one sense, that Christendom does not readily accept the revelation at the end of the age. (And, for those who don't know, the term Apocalypse really means to "uncover, reveal, or unveil" the truth that has been ignored, forgotten, misinterpreted and misunderstood, and the word came from the Greek phrase apokalupsis eschaton which means "revelation at the end of the aeon, or age." That speaks of what's happening now at the end of the age.)

    Also, I'd like to correct you because I never wrote "the end of the ages." I wrote about "the end of the age (aeon or olam) that Jesus ushered in." That's much different, and Jesus spoke of the end of the age.

    There will be no end of the ages. Remember that the book of Daniel and the book of Revelation say that when prophecy is fulfilled the world will be renewed and then "last forever, never to be destroyed." That is what the real, true prophecies of all the world's religions say. And Christians should read Daniel 2:44; Daniel 7:14; Isaiah 2:4; Micah 4:3; Psalm 104:5; Matthew 5:3-9; John 16:7-15; Revelation 11:15 and other similar passages that confirm the truth.

    As for convincing the world that Jesus of Nazareth was a son of man and son of God who said all men may realize they are sons of God, and that prophecy will be fulfilled at the end of the age (or aeon) that he ushered in by one who bears his testimony, that is not difficult because it is even written in the canonized texts of the church. And as for the one who bears his testimony being a "son of man" in the tradition of the countless servants of God mentioned in the Hebrew Bible (Torah and Tanakh, or "Old Testament") who were also called "son of man," that too is scriptural even though fundamentalist Christians don't recognize or acknowledge it yet.

    For example, in Jesus' prophecy about the modern son of man, he said: "The days will come when people will want to see one of the days of the son of man, and they shall not see it. So they will look here and there, but do not follow them. For as the lightning lightens all parts under heaven, so shall also the [work of the] son of man be in his day. But first he must suffer many things, and be rejected by his generation." (Luke 17:20-25)

    As it states in Prophecies Regarding He Who Fulfills Them, Jesus was not speaking of himself in that instance, because while he was rejected by the chief priests and scribes, he was accepted by multitudes of Jews and Greeks in his generation, and suffered only after he completed his mission, not "first" or beforehand. (And God only knows how he knew that the Internet and World Wide Web would allow people all over the world to read a message in a flash, like lightning.)

    Another thing to be considered is that Jesus essentially said: "I tell you the truth: I must go away, but I will send the Counselor to you. He will righteously judge the world; because I am going to heaven and you will see me no more. I came not to judge the world, but the rulers of this world must be judged. I have much more to say to you, but it is more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak of himself, because of himself he will do nothing but the will of the one who sent him. He will [write and] speak only what he hears from God, and he will tell you what is to come. He will glorify me by receiving what I have received from God, and making it known to you." (Paraphrasing and clarifying John 8:28, John 12:47, and John 16:7-15)

    Jesus clearly revealed that because he had to go away and would be seen no more on earth, he would send someone delivering a needed message at the end of the age, who will issue the judgment, guide humanity unto the truth, show you things to come, and declare the testimony of the Christ-Avatar who is in heaven with God.

    Of course that view refutes the Nicene Creed and the Pauline theology of Christian Apologetics, but that shouldn't surprise anyone. Jesus said the modern son of many would be rejected by this generation (which is dominated by Christians). And it will take time for the truth to sink in.
    .
  • Strongly Liberal
    Independent
    Seattle, WA
    Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        
    I think in considering Christianity in the light of modern research, archaeology, the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nag Hammadi Library we should realize that what we know as the Christian Bible is not really accurate in certain instances, even though it contains much truth.

    For example, many of the claims regarding prophecies in the Hebrew Bible that were made first by Paul are not appropriate, and one of the most blatant examples of that is the claim that Jesus fulfilled the prophecies in Isaiah. (And if you wonder what I mean, read an article on Isaiah Chapter 53.)

    During the Enlightenment, many great thinkers realized such things, and one of them was Thomas Jefferson.

    If you check it, you will find that even though Jefferson wrote: "Of all the systems of morality, ancient or modern, which have come under my observation, none appear to me so pure as that of Jesus." he also wrote the following:

    "Among the sayings and discourses imputed to Jesus by his biographers, I find many passages of fine imagination, correct morality, and of the most lovely benevolence; and others again of so much ignorance, so much absurdity, so much untruth, charlatanism, and imposture, as to pronounce it impossible that such contradictions should have proceeded from the same being." – Thomas Jefferson

    "The whole history of these books [the Gospels] is so defective and doubtful that it seems vain to attempt minute inquiry into it: and such tricks have been played with their text, and with the texts of other books relating to them, that we have a right, from that cause, to entertain much doubt what parts of them are genuine. In the New Testament there is internal evidence that parts of it have proceeded from an extraordinary man; and that other parts are of the fabric of very inferior minds. It is as easy to separate those parts ..." --- Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Adams, January 24, 1814

    Adams, Madison, Franklin, Washington, and others felt much the same way (see Quotes From the Founders Regarding Religion).

    However, since most of them were Deists and some were Freemasons, they believed in God, and they appreciated and honored the universal, true teachings of Jesus, as distinguished from some of the claims about Jesus made by the writers of the NT.

    I take the time to share this with you all because I think it is time for truth, reason, and practical reality, and progress beyond the myths and false beliefs that have led to so many "holy wars."
  • Democrat
    Missouri
    Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        
    Guy, for which I stand on the promises and tender my belief as precious and priceless beyond imagination.........it's all I can take with me. Time's is ticking and my earthly existence will come to a close, but I rejoice in my belief of a life everlasting. Thus, I hold principles of the Holy Trinity dear and try my hardest (maybe a little overstating this) to do my best to God. I'm a sinner with all of you, but I don't hide it. I will be judged as will everyone will be. I pray, I'll get a "well done, my son". My fore fathers and mothers have passed down a great legacy to me and have taught me much about their departing of this life. So, it's all I can give and I will not try to debate this issue because I'm not a theologian or classic expert in this area. I'm just a simple and humble child of my Heavenly Father. PGR, I'm praying for you, dude!