There are some biblical critics and cult groups who believe that the following verses teach that Jesus only became the Son of God after his resurrection:
“Then Paul stood up, and motioning with his hand said: ‘Men of Israel, and you who fear God, listen… We preach to you good news: The promise which was made to the fathers, God has fulfilled to us, their children, raising Jesus. As it is written in the second Psalm: “You are My Son; today I have become Your Father.”’” Acts 13:16, 32-33
“concerning his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who was a descendant of David according to the flesh and was appointed to be the powerful Son of God according to the Spirit of holiness by the resurrection of the dead.” Romans 1:3-4 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)
This view is typically referred to as adoptionism, e.g., that God adopted or made Jesus his unique Son by raising him to immortal life and exalting him to his heavenly throne where he was given the glory, honor, worship and status of God.
In this post I am going to demonstrate that both Paul and his protégé taught that the Lord Jesus has always been God’s Son. I will then come back to these specific texts and explain what they mean in light of the Christology espoused by these blessed servants of the risen Lord of glory.
The Apostle proclaimed that Jesus was God’s Son who was sent into the world to become a human being:
“For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and concerning sin, He condemned sin in the flesh,” Romans 8:3
“But when the fullness of time came, God sent forth His Son, born from a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth into our hearts the Spirit of His Son, crying, ‘Abba, Father!’ Therefore you are no longer a servant, but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.” Galatians 4:4-7
Just as the Spirit was already the Spirit before he was sent forth from God, so also was Jesus already the Son of God before he was into creation to become flesh by being born of a woman.
Paul further taught that Christ personally existed before all creation in God’s own form who then later humbled himself to become a man, and that he was already God’s beloved Son when the Father employed him to bring the entire creation into existence:
“But for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist. And there is one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.” 1 Corinthians 8:6
“and to reveal for all people what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God, who created all things through Jesus Christ,” Ephesians 3:9
“Let this mind be in you all, which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped. But He emptied Himself, taking upon Himself the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. And being found in the form of a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death, even death on a cross. Therefore God highly exalted Him and gave Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:5-11
“He has delivered us from the power of darkness and has transferred us into the kingdom of His dear Son, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God and the firstborn of every creature. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they are thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers. All things were created by Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” Colossians 1:13-17
Hebrews, which has traditionally been attributed to Paul, makes the same point:
“God, who at various times and in diverse ways spoke long ago to the fathers through the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, and through whom He made the world. He is the brightness of His glory, the express image of Himself, and upholds all things by the word of His power… But to the Son He says… ‘You, Lord [the Son], laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the works of Your hands. They will perish, but You remain; and they all will wear out like a garment; as a cloak You will fold them up, and they will be changed. But You are the same, and Your years will not end.’” Hebrews 1:1-3a, 8a, 10-12
“For the One was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, in that He who builds the house has more honor than the house itself. For every house is built by someone, but the One who builds all things is God. Moses was faithful in all God’s house as a servant, testifying about those things that were to be spoken later. But Christ is faithful over God’s house as a Son, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of our hope firm to the end.” Hebrews 3:3-6
Note here that it is Jesus as the Son who is described as the Creator and Sustainer of all creation, the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of God’s eternal being. And as the Son who built and rules over the household of God, he is worthy of greater glory than Moses since the latter was nothing more than a servant in God’s house.
Paul further proclaimed that all the fullness of the Godhead, i.e. that which makes God what he essentially is, is completely embodied in Christ:
“For it pleased the Father that in Him all fullness should dwell,” Colossians 1:19
“that their hearts may be comforted, being knit together in love, and receive all the riches and assurance of full understanding, and knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge… For in Him lives all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And you are complete in Him, who is the head of all authority and power.” Colossians 2:2-3, 9-10
The above explains why Paul and Hebrews even go as far as to call Jesus God:
“Paul had decided to sail by Ephesus, to avoid spending time in Asia. For he was hurrying so he could be in Jerusalem, if possible, on the day of Pentecost. From Miletus he sent to Ephesus for the elders of the church… ‘Therefore take heed to yourselves and to the entire flock, over which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.’” Acts 20:16-17, 28
“to whom belong the patriarchs, and from whom, according to the flesh, is Christ, who is over all, God forever blessed.” Romans 9:5
“Without question, great is the mystery of godliness: God was revealed in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached to the Gentiles, believed on in the world, taken up into glory.” 1 Timothy 3:16
“as we await the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all lawlessness and purify for Himself a special people, zealous of good works.” Titus 2:13-14
“But to the Son He says: ‘Your throne, O God, lasts forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.'” Hebrews 1:8
This shows that, for this beloved Apostle, Christ is the eternal Son who became a flesh and blood human being.
As far as Luke is concerned, this inspired writer explicitly teaches that Jesus was already the Son of God from his virginal conception and birth by the Holy Spirit, and remained such all throughout his earthly ministry even before his resurrection and ascension into heaven:
“In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. The angel came to her and said, ‘Greetings, you who are highly favored. The Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women.’ When she saw him, she was troubled by his words, and considered in her mind what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Listen, you will conceive in your womb and bear a Son and shall call His name JESUS. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest. And the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever. And of His kingdom there will be no end.’ Then Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I do not know a man?’ The angel answered her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you. Therefore the Holy One who will be born will be called the Son of God.’” Luke 1:26-35
Moreover, Luke records both God the Father,
“and the Holy Spirit descended in a bodily form like a dove on Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, ‘You ARE My beloved Son. In You I am well pleased.’” Luke 3:22
“A voice came from out of the cloud, saying, ‘This IS My beloved Son. Listen to Him.’” Luke 9:35
And Jesus himself testifying to the fact of Christ being God’s unique divine Son long before his death on the cross:
“Now His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. When He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast. When the days of the feast were complete, as they returned, the Child Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem. And Joseph and His mother did not know of it. But supposing Him to be in their company, they went a day’s journey. Then they searched for Him among their relatives and acquaintances. When they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem, searching for Him. After three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. All who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and His answers. When they saw Him, they were amazed. And His mother said to Him, ‘Son, why have You dealt with us like this? Look, Your father and I have anxiously searched for You.’ He said to them, ‘How is it that you searched for Me? Did you not know that I must be about MY Father’s business?’ But they did not understand the word which He spoke to them.” Luke 2:41-50
“Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.’… And Jesus cried out with a loud voice, ‘Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.’ Having said this, He gave up the spirit.” Luke 22:34, 46
“And look, I am sending the promise of MY Father upon you. But wait in the city of Jerusalem until you are clothed with power from on high.” Luke 24:49
These next three sayings are truly remarkable:
“At that time Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, ‘I thank You, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for it was Your good pleasure. All things have been handed over to Me by MY Father. And no one knows who the Son is but the Father, and who the Father is but the Son and he to whom the Son desires to reveal Him.”” Luke 10:21-22
Jesus is the Son who has been entrusted with all things, and who knows the Father to the same extent that the Father knows him. Since the Father is God, and since God is beyond comprehension,
“Can you search out the deep things of God? Can you find out the totality of the Almighty? It is as high as heaven; what can you do? Deeper than Sheol; what can you know? Its measure is longer than the earth and broader than the sea.” Job 11:7-9
“God thunders marvelously with His voice; He does great things that we cannot comprehend.” Job 37:5 – cf. 5:9; 9:10; 36:26
“O LORD, You have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I get up; You understand my thought from far off. You search my path and my lying down and are aware of all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, but behold, O LORD, You know it fully. You put Yourself behind and before me, and keep Your hand on me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is lofty, and I cannot fathom it.” Psalm 139:1-6 – cf. 145:3; 147:4-5
“O the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable are His ways! ‘For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has become His counselor?’ ‘Or who has first given to Him, and it shall be repaid to him?’ For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever! Amen.” Romans 11:33-36
The only way for the Son to be the only One who knows the Father is if the Son is an omniscient, incomprehensible Being. This is further brought out by Jesus’ assertion that only the Father is able to know the Son, a claim that presupposes that the Son is also incomprehensible by nature.
This saying thus furnishes an explicit testimony from Christ himself to being the divine, unique Son of God long before his physical resurrection and ascension into heaven.
Here’s the next example:
“He began to tell the people this parable: ‘A man planted a vineyard, and leased it to vinedressers, and went to a distant country for a long time. At harvest time he sent a servant to the vinedressers so they might give him some fruit of the vineyard. But the vinedressers beat him and sent him away empty-handed. Again, he sent another servant. But they beat him also, and treated him shamefully, and sent him away empty-handed. Once again, he sent a third. And they wounded him also and drove him out. Then the owner of the vineyard said, “What shall I do? I will send my beloved son. Perhaps they will respect him when they see him.” But when the vinedressers saw him, they debated among themselves, saying, “This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours.” So they drove him out of the vineyard and killed him. What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? He will come and kill these vinedressers and will give the vineyard to others.’ When they heard this, they said, ‘May it not be so!’” Luke 20:9-16
In the parable, the owner is God, the vineyard is Israel (cf. Isaiah 5:1-7), the vinedressers are the Jewish religious leaders, and the servants represent the prophets:
“Since the day that your fathers came out of the land of Egypt to this day, I have even sent to you all My servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending them.” Jeremiah 7:25 – cf. 26:5; 29:19; 44:4
“The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come, and the time has come for the dead to be judged, and to reward Your servants the prophets and the saints and those who fear Your name, small and great, and to destroy those who destroy the earth.”” Revelation 11:18
Astonishingly, Jesus distinguishes himself from all the prophets by identifying himself as the Owner’s beloved Son and Heir.
This not only affirms the Son’s preexistence, since he was already with the Father before he was sent, but also as the Heir this makes him the Owner of everything that belongs to God, which would include the prophets! And since God owns the entire creation this means that the whole creation belongs to Jesus!
“When day came, the assembly of the elders of the people, both the chief priests and scribes, came together and led Him away to their council, saying, ‘Are You the Christ? Tell us!’ He said to them, ‘If I tell you, you will not believe. And if I also question you, you will not answer Me or release Me. From now on the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God.’ They all said, ‘Are You then the Son of God?’ He said to them, ‘You truly say that I am.’ Then they said, ‘What further testimony do we need? We have heard it from His own mouth.’” Luke 22:66-71
Jesus defines his Sonship in light of the following OT texts:
“A Psalm of David. The LORD said to my lord, ‘Sit at My right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.’” Psalm 110:1
“I saw in the night visions, and there was one like a Son of Man coming with the clouds of heaven. He came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before Him. There was given to Him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.” Daniel 7:13-14
Christ is David’s Lord who sits enthroned alongside of God and whom Daniel saw riding the clouds of heaven to receive an everlasting kingdom from the Ancient of Days, i.e. God the Father, in order to rule over all the nations who shall worship him forever and ever!
It is these specific claims that led the religious authorities to hand Jesus over to the Romans to be killed, since they recognized that he was going around claiming to be the unique Son of God during his earthly ministry, which they deemed to be a blasphemous assertion.
This is corroborated by John’s Gospel:
“So the Jews persecuted Jesus and sought to kill Him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath day. Jesus answered them, ‘MY Father is working still, and I am working.’ So the Jews sought even more to kill Him, because He not only had broken the Sabbath, but also said that God was HIS Father, making Himself equal with God. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do. For whatever He does, likewise the Son does. For the Father loves the Son and shows Him all things that He Himself does. And He will show Him greater works than these so that you may marvel. For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom He will. The Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, that all men should honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him. Truly, truly I say to you, whoever hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has eternal life and shall not come into condemnation, but has passed from death into life. Truly, truly I say to you, the hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has given to the Son to have life in Himself, and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this. For the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His [the Son’s] voice and come out—those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment. I can do nothing of Myself. As I hear, I judge. My judgment is just, because I seek not My own will, but the will of the Father who sent Me.’” John 5:16-30
“‘MY Father and I are one.’ Again the Jews took up stones to stone Him. Jesus answered them, ‘I have shown you many good works from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?’ The Jews answered Him, ‘We are not stoning You for a good work, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, claim to be God.’ Jesus answered them, ‘Is it not written in your law, “I said, ‘You are gods’”? If He called them “gods,” to whom the word of God came, and the Scripture cannot be broken, do you say of Him, whom the Father has sanctified and sent into the world, “You blaspheme,” because I said, “I am the Son of God”?’” John 10:30-36
“The Jews answered him, ‘We have a law, and by our law He ought to die, because He made Himself the Son of God!’” John 19:7
Note that Jesus, as the unique divine Son, can do everything that the Father does, has life within himself just as the Father has it, receives the same honor that the Father does, gives spiritual and physical life to whomever he pleases, and raises the dead from their graves at the hour of judgment!
The Witness of the Spirit Realm
On top of all this, we even have the demons testifying to Jesus’ being God’s unique Son:
“And demons came out of many, crying out, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of God!’ But He rebuked them and did not permit them to speak, because they knew that He was the Christ.” Luke 4:41
“They sailed to the country of the Gadarenes, which is across from Galilee. When He stepped out on land, a man from the city who had demons for a long time met Him. He wore no clothes, nor did he live in a house but in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell down before Him, and with a loud voice said, ‘What have You to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I plead with You, do not torment me.’” Luke 8:26-28
The Witness of Matthew and Mark
Luke isn’t the only Synoptic Gospel writer that confirms that Jesus was already God’s Son before his physical ascension into heaven:
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of MY Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 7:21
“For whoever does the will of MY Father who is in heaven is My brother, and sister, and mother.” Matthew 12:50
“But He answered, ‘Every plant which MY heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted.’” Matthew 15:13
“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of MY Father who is in heaven… Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by MY Father who is in heaven… So also MY heavenly Father will do to each of you, if from your heart you do not forgive your brother for his trespasses.” Matthew 18:10, 19, 35
“He said to them, ‘You will indeed drink from My cup and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with. But to sit at My right hand and at My left is not Mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it is prepared by MY Father.’” Matthew 20:23
“‘I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in MY Father’s kingdom.’… He went a little farther, and falling on His face, He prayed, ‘O MY Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me. Nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.’… He went away a second time and prayed, ‘O MY Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.’… ‘Do you think that I cannot now pray to MY Father, and He will at once give Me more than twelve legions of angels?” Matthew 26:29, 39, 42, 53
These next examples are also remarkable:
“Whoever will confess Me before men, him will I confess also before MY Father who is in heaven. But whoever will deny Me before men, him will I also deny before MY Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 10:32-33
“For the Son of Man shall come with His angels in the glory of HIS Father, and then He will repay every man according to his works.” Matthew 16:27
“’When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. Before Him will be gathered all nations, and He will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates his sheep from the goats. He will set the sheep at His right hand, but the goats at the left. Then the King will say to those at His right hand, “Come, you blessed of MY Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you since the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave Me food, I was thirsty and you gave Me drink, I was a stranger and you took Me in. I was naked and you clothed Me, I was sick and you visited Me, I was in prison and you came to Me.” Then the righteous will answer Him, “Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? And when did we see You sick or in prison and come to You?” The King will answer, “Truly I say to you, as you have done it for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you have done it FOR ME.” Then He will say to those at the left hand, “Depart from Me, you cursed, into the eternal fire, prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave Me no food, I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, I was naked and you did not clothe Me, I was sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.” Then they also will answer Him, “Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not serve You?’He will answer, “Truly I say to you, as you did it not for one of the least of these, you did it not FOR ME.” And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.’ When Jesus had finished all these sayings, He said to His disciples, ‘ You know that after two days is the Passover, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to be crucified.’” Matthew 25:31-46, 26:1-2
Christ claims to be the Son who will come with his angels to determine the fate of every single individual. The Lord plainly states that a person’s salvation depends on how s/he responds to him.
What makes this all the more amazing is that Christ goes as far as to ascribe to himself the very language and function, which is attributed to Jehovah alone:
“Also to You, O Lord, belongs mercy; for You render to each one according to his work.” Psalm 62:12
“if you say, ‘Surely we did not know this,’ does not He who ponders the heart consider it? And He who keeps your soul, does He not know it? And will He not render to every man according to his works?” Proverbs 24:12
“See, the Lord GOD will come with a strong hand, and His arm shall rule for Him; see, His reward is with Him, and His recompense before Him.” Isaiah 40:10
“The LORD has proclaimed to the ends of the earth: Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘See, your salvation comes; see, His reward is with Him, and His recompense before Him.’” Isaiah 62:11
“I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give to every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his deeds.” Jeremiah 17:10
Christ basically claims to be the very God whom the OT says shall come to repay every individual for what s/he has earned.
There’s more. Both Matthew and Mark record a saying of Christ where the Lord makes himself greater than the entire creation:
“Concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but MY Father only.” Matthew 24:36
“But concerning that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” Mark 13:32
Jesus positions himself high above all human beings and angels, since he is the unique Son who is in the closest and most intimate proximity to God Father.
In this next passage,
“Then the eleven disciples went away to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw Him, they worshipped Him. But some doubted. Then Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’ Amen.” Matthew 28:16-20
Our Lord claims to be the unique Son who shares the same name of the Father and the Holy Spirit, who possesses absolute sovereignty over all creation, who is worshiped by his followers, and who promises to be personally (though not physically) present with every one of them till the end of the age!
Matthew further describes the disciples worshiping Jesus as the Son of God in the context of his walking on water and controlling nature,
“Then Jesus commanded His disciples to get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side, while He sent the crowds away. When He sent the crowds away, He went up into a mountain by Himself to pray. And when evening came, He was there alone. But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was turbulent. During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. But when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, ‘It is a spirit.’ And they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘Be of good cheer. It is I. Do not be afraid.’ Peter answered Him and said, ‘Lord, if it is You, bid me come to You on the water.’ He said, ‘Come.’ And when Peter got out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw the strong wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink, he cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’ Immediately Jesus reached out His hand and caught him, and said to him, ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?’ And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. Then those who were in the boat came and worshipped Him, saying, ‘Truly You ARE the Son of God.’” Matthew 14:22-33
And records Peter’s confession that Jesus is the Son of the living God:
“When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, ‘Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?’ They said, ‘Some say that You are John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Simon Peter replied, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ Jesus answered him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven’” Matthew 16:13-17
Matthew even has the unbelieving Jews acknowledging that Jesus claimed to be the Son of God during his earthly ministry:
“Those who passed by insulted Him, wagging their heads, saying, ‘You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself! If You ARE the Son of God, come down from the cross.’ Likewise the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked Him, saying, ‘He saved others. He cannot save Himself. If He is the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him. He trusted in God. Let Him deliver Him now, if He will have Him. For He said, “I AM the Son of God.”’” Matthew 27:39- 43
Finally, Matthew is joined by Mark in having the Roman centurion responsible for Jesus’ execution realizing and testifying that he indeed was already the Son of God as he hung on the cross:
“When the centurion who stood facing Him saw that He cried out and gave up the spirit, he said, ‘Truly, this Man was the Son of God.’” Mark 15:39 – cf. Matthew 27:54
The foregoing biblical data conclusively proves that, as far as the inspired NT documents are concerned, and particularly in the case of the writings of Paul and Luke, Jesus was God’s unique divine Son long before his physical resurrection and ascension into heaven.
Lord willing, in the next part of my discussion I will provide a somewhat in depth discussion of Acts 13:32-33 and Romans 1:3-4.