This is a brief paper I submitted in 2014 as part of a course offered by the Hartford Seminary. It was led by Dr. Mahmoud Ayoub and Rev. Nick Mumejian.
Is it possible to be the Son of God, without being God the Son? The possibilities are becoming more evident as the weeks go by, yet the questions progressively compound yet simplify the meaning. One of the core Christian values is yes, but how do we achieve that conclusion? At this time, in this day, it has become more than just believing on faith alone. As the exploration of new meanings, revisiting old meanings, as well as the discoveries of new sources (IE Gospel of Judas) has been beneficial to scholars studying both sides of the Jesus/God/Jesus turmoil.
The Gospel of Luke, as well as the Qur’an are similarly described, with the Qur’an being a bit more graphic in it’s explanation. I believe that Allah swt was pointing and reaffirming to His Creations the oneness of the word between the “divinely inspired” Luke, and the direct word of God in the Qur’an. The author of Luke pointing out that Maryam was filled with the Holy Spirit , while the Qur’an was specific to mention the Angel Jibril (Gabriel) as being the vehicle chosen by Allah to impregnate Maryam, without human conception, which would of course make him divine, or a son of God.
One significant, or at least significant to me point is that Jesus “true followers” fasted during Ramadan, and prayed facing the Ka’bah . Al Islam prayed initially facing Jerusalem until roughly 624, while the Prophet Muhammad Sallalahu Alaihi Was Salam was in Medina. This of course would put praying toward the Ka’bah about six hundred years earlier.
Now here I need to veer from the course of Dr Ayoub’s Essays and reach into my own Roman Catholic upbringing, Dimitte me Dominus. The story of Paul began as Paul was either a Jew working as a Roman soldier/mercenary named Saul, or was roman. After supervising the stoning of the martyr St Stephen he was thrown from his horse after a heavenly order and became blind. While blind he had revelations, regained his sight and became a Christian. Not just any Christian, but the Christian who spread the word far and wide that Jesus was/is God.
Abu Ja’far al Tusi (Nasir al-Din al-Tusi?) debates that it is impossible for God to have children, according to verse. This, he argues “if all that is in the heavens and the earth is His possession, then both Jesus and the angels who are brought near to Him are slaves under His dominion. A child must be by necessity be the same genus as his father, but the object of an act is never of the same genus as the subject. Every corporeal being is an object of God’s act. There is therefore no one like Him in any way Exalted be attributes of His creatures.” This subjectively states that there is no way, no how that God would, or could make an equal to Hu. Yet again in my belief, denying the All of God, That God is not created, yet nowhere did God say that He can’t create a son, which brings me back to is Jesus, being the Son of God, make him God the Son.
Leirvik, while summarizing the past work of Dr. Ayoub seemed to summarize in a small chapter addendum “The Significance of Suffering”. Yet in this summary I’m not sure he qualified Dr Ayoub’s intentions. While Shi’i and Sunni Islam are indeed different in some doctrinal issues, but they are still based in the same root. The Qur’an. Hadith, both Sunni and Shi’i come to similar conclusions about the divinity of Jesus, with Shi’i perhaps more general in their belief of Jesus, and the belief that the Twelve Imams are indeed moderators between believers and God.
Still, my enduring question, and answer is, is Jesus, the Son of God, or God the Son.