When did Jesus become the “Son”?

Time for another Q&A from the days of yore …

Question – “Was Jesus “Son” from eternity-past (i.e. before creation of time-space) or was he “Word” until he became flesh at his incarnation and then he became “Son”?”

Reply – While it may not be possible to arrive at a definitive response to the question, I think the answer is inherently connected to one’s understanding of the Trinity. That is, modalistic monarchianism suggests that Jesus’ “Sonship” was realized upon the incarnation, whereas orthodox trinitarianism argues that the Son is co-eternal with the Father and Holy Spirit. I tend to fall on the side of Athanasias and orthodox trinitarianism, until someone can suggest a better concept of the Biblical model. Theological systems aside, however, my initial reaction is to refer to Colossians 1 where the Son (vs 13) is referred to as the creator of all things (vs 16, see also Heb 1:2-3,10), a designation that certainly precedes the introduction of him as the “Word” in John 1:1. However, although the Colossians pericope seems to deal with part two of your first question (ie, “Son” prior to incarnation?), it does not explore the first part of the same question (ie, “Son” prior to creation?). For that aspect of his divine characteristics, Jesus seems to refer to his own eternal nature in John 8:58, but he does not explicitly reference it to his “Sonship” but just his being. Also, the references in Hebrews 1 appears to indicate that the Son has the same nature (creator, eternal-future, etc) as the Father, so would seem somewhat logical to conclude that eternal-past (ie, pre-creation) is also the same as the Father.

Does that make any sense?

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One Reply to “When did Jesus become the “Son”?”

  1. or is it possible that they are distinct individuals? The Father and the Son are two different people? When the Bible tells us that they are one, could that be like in a marriage, the husband and wife are one??

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