By: Faten Sabri
“It befits not the Majesty of God that He begets a son for He is far above this. Glorified and Exalted be He above all that they associate with Him. When He decrees a thing, He only says to it, “Be!” and it is.” (Qur’an 19:35)
Is Jesus the Son of God?
“Jesus said: ‘., I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” (John: 20:17)
Virgin Mary is not the only person who was told that the Holy spirit will come to her
The mother of Prophet John according to the Bible was filled with the Holy Spirit.
“But the angel said to him, ‘Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb.’” (Luke 1:13-15)
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
We also read:
“While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message.” (Acts 10:44)
Is Jesus the only person who was called ‘the Son of God’?
The term ‘Son of God’ was not used literally, because in the Bible, God refers to many of His chosen servants as ‘sons’. The Hebrews believed that God is One, and that He has neither wife nor son in any literal sense, so the term ‘Son of God’ meant servant of God. Some of the followers of Jesus who came from a Greek or Roman background misused this term. In their heritage the term ‘Son of God’ signified an incarnation of a god or someone born out of a physical union between a male and a female goddess.
- Jacob is God’s son and firstborn:
“Israel is my son, even my firstborn.” (Exodus 4:22)
- Solomon is God’s son:
“He shall build an house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son” (2 Samuel 7:13-14)
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God” (Romans 8:14)
“Ye are the children of the Lord your God” (Deuteronomy 14:1)
“Adam is the son of God “Adam, which was the son of God.” (Luke 3:38)
“Indeed, the example of Jesus to Allah is like that of Adam. He created Him from dust; then He said to him, “Be,” and he was.” (Qur’an 3:59)
“But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time, you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.” (Matthew 10:19-20)
Muslims believe that Jesus is ‘the Word of God’, but this description does not mean that Jesus is the Son of God in a literal sense but a symbolical one, means that he spoke the word of God. Also when prophets were to speak God’s revelation to others, they would say:
“hear the word of the Lord.” (Jeremiah 7:2, Hosea 4:1)
Was Jesus called ‘Immanuel’ which means (God with us)?
“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14)
The prophecy states that his name will be ‘Immanuel’, it does not say that he will be Immanuel. Mary never called her child ‘Immanuel’ as required by the prophecy. According to the Bible, she named him Jesus following instructions by the angel of God.
“but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a son; and he called His name Jesus.” (Matthew 1:25)
Jesus was never called ‘Immanuel’, and if we assume that this name was meant to be for Jesus, this still does not make him God because according to the Bible, several people were in God’s company. Therefore, Immanuel’s interpretation as ‘God with us’ does not mean that God’s company is exclusive to Jesus only. God is with His prophets and righteous servants every time and everywhere. Here we can see other names linked with God (in the Hebrew forms of El or Yah) belonging to other people. For example:
- Samuel means: the name of God.
- Elihu means: he is my God himself.
- Isaiah means: the salvation of the Lord.
- Adbeel means: the miracle of God.
- Uriel means: light of God.
- Elijah means: God the Lord, the strong Lord.
The angel informed Mary that ‘the Lord is with you’ before conceiving Jesus, that is to say Mary was in God’s company before conceiving and giving birth to Jesus.
“The angel went to her and said, ‘Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.’” (Luke 1:28)
God was with His Prophet Joseph.
“Because the patriarchs were jealous of Joseph, they sold him as a slave into Egypt. But God was with him.” (Acts 7-9)
The birth and naming of the child Immanuel when read in context, was a sign for king Ahaz and his people, who were about to be invaded by two rival kingdoms, that God will be with them and give them victory. The name ‘God is with us’, means that God will support us. The meaning of the name is understandable since the child’s name was supposed to indicate to King Ahaz that God was on his side.
“Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz, ‘Ask the Lord your God for a sign, whether in the deepest depths or in the highest heights.’ But Ahaz said, ‘I will not ask; I will not put the Lord to the test.’ Then Isaiah said, ‘Hear now, you house of David! Is it not enough to try the patience of men? Will you try the patience of my God also? Therefore, the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. He will eat curds and honey when he knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right. But before the boy knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right, the land of the two kings you dread will be laid waste.” (Isaiah 7:10-16)
The promise was fulfilled by God, and they were given the victory.
“The king of Assyria complied by attacking Damascus and capturing it. He deported its inhabitants to Kir and put Rezin to death.” (2 Kings 16:9)
In actual Hebrew (Isaiah 7:14) does not say a virgin would give birth but that a young woman would conceive. The Hebrew word (almah), used in (Isaiah 7:14) means young woman, not a virgin. The Hebrew word for virgin is (b’tulah). The Revised Standard Version Bible is one of the few Christian Bibles that used the translation ‘young woman’ instead of replacing it with the word ‘virgin.’
Symbolic names are frequently used by Hebrews in the Bible. Many names cannot be taken literally.
“In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. This is the name by which it will be called: ‘The Lord Our Righteous Savior.’”
Jacob was called a piece of land ‘Face of God.’ (Genesis 32:30)
“Moses built an altar and called it ‘the Lord is my Banner’” (Exodus 17:15)
- Bithiah, a daughter of Pharaoh, her name means ‘daughter of Jehovah.’
- Eliab, his name means ‘My God (is my) father?’
“So Abraham called that place The Lord will provide. And to this day it is said, On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.” (Genesis 22:14)
Jesus confirmed his Prophethood, his submission to God, his servitude to God, and his status as a Human Messenger:
“As it is, you are looking for a way to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do such things.” (John 8:40)
“Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations. “ (Matthew 12:18)
“Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.” (Mark 6:4)
“Verily! I am a servant of God, He has granted me the Scripture and He has made me a Prophet, and He has made me blessed wherever I may be, and has commanded me to pray and to give alms as long as I live.” (Qur’an 19:30-31)
About the Author:
Faten Sabri (1973-) is a modern Jordanian Muslim thinker. She is well known for her frequent interaction with various cultures, religions and she speaks different languages. She studied comparative religions which made her able to discuss the controversial issues about Islam with the truth seekers and free thinkers.She wrote books about the message of Islam, the original concept of God and Jesus Christ in Islam and she has monthly articles in an international magazines. These books and articles were translated and distributed in more than 9 languages.