This article is inspired by something I heard in a Yoytube video with the historian Tom Holland. The section about the term “the Son of God” begins at timecode 22.56.
In the ancient, pagan religions the term “Son of God” was widespread. So what is the difference between all these different sons of gods compared with Jesus? The big difference was that all these ofter “sons of gods” were elite heroes in society, but Jesus was a poor, homeless outcast, hated by his own people and he suffered the most humiliating death that a human could receive at that time: Crucifixion. It is interesting to note that Augustus who was the Roman emperor at the time when Jesus lived also bore the title “Son of God”. So the idea of a humiliated man being worshipped as the real King of the universe and the Creator of all things was so provocative and so offensive different the Roman people in general.
So we see a fundamental difference from the previously existing religions of the Son of God to the Christian Son of God, Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ was none of what the pagan religions conceptualized in the term “Son of God”.
The question is why have almost all religions the motive with a God materializing as a human being? There is one biblical explanation and a thousand secular philosophical/psychological explanations. The biblical explanation is that when Adam and Eve sinned God told them that one day God would make himself incarnate as a human being and destroy Satan and the kingdom (earth) that he had usurped by deception.
Many people misunderstand the new covenant which God made after the death of Christ. First, they think that first God only cared for the jews and that salvation could only happen through the Jewish system, so the pagan world was actually lost. That is a total misinterpretation of scripture. Second, they think that the new covenant means that from the new covenant and onwards salvation is for the whole world through Jesu and not only the jews. This is a misconception, too. Salvation has always been offered for all people; it has never been an exclusive offer only for the Jews.
Something that most people – both secular, Christians and Jews misunderstand is that throughout the old testament it is Jesus we are reading about, but under another name: Jehova.
But if that is so why did Jesus then only come to the jews in the OT and left the rest of the world in darkness? Why did he only care for a little, chosen flock?
The answer is that he didn’t! Jesus came to the world and he looked around to find individuals who wanted to follow him. He didn’t look for jews, because Jesus (Jehova in OT) came long before the even existed jews. He came to Abraham. Why Abraham? Because Abraham was a man who longed for God’s influence on his heart, his thoughts, and he had a strong desire to become transformed in heart and soul by the influence of God. But Abraham lived among people who did not have that desire. Therefore God chose Abraham. He was the only one left. People had in general forgotten about God.
the reason why Jesus came esus also only came to the jews in the new? But why? Because the FIRST plan of Salvation was that God (Jesus) chose a an individual who should carry the faith and through him (Abraham) a great people should rise (the Jews) and through the jewish people the message of salvation (the gospel) should be spread out to the to the whole hearthern world. But as we see in the OT this plan was not fulfilled. The jews were not willing to follow it. Even though they made a covenant with God at mount Sainai where the promised to follow God, keep his commandments and do all his will, the blew it totally already a few days later. Only a few of the jews actually understood how enourmsly a trial and difficult task God had aksed them to do, so therefor the majority of the jewish people soon became totally unsatisfied with both Moses (the god-chosen leader) and also God himself. They wanted to return to their slavery in Egypt rather than being caught in a trap in the dessert. That was their conception of the situation. God had fooled them and led them into a trap.
Therefor God sent them prophet after prophet in an attempt