The concept
'Father - Son' in the Bible
Omar K N

Concerning the character of the Bible, it is today no longer an unknown fact and corroborated by scientic religious studies, that words, sentences and even entire parts of the Bible have since their inception been changed or even entirely disappeared. This has happened for the original texts, later in their translations and by 'modernizing' of what remained, although recently there have been attempts by researchers to produce more authentic translations.
Quranreference: (3-78)

1.
As Muslims, we believe in the truth of all divine scriptures, including the Bible (h1); albeit this is not the original text, which was revealed to the prophets (peace be upon them) ; but a text which has been distorted. However there are still many biblical verses that a Muslim could accept as true.
(For example Jesaja (44:6)

In contrast the Quran is - thanks to God - the authentic revelation received by Prophet Muhammad and was written down under his supervision. The circumstances of the revelation are known to us up to today, we do know for example the names of the Companions who were chosen to write down the Quranic verses, and this area of knowledge has become an entire Islamic discipline, in order to guarantee the priscine originality of the Quran in respect to what had happened to earliear revelations.
Quranreference: (10-37)

2.
The dispute whether or not Jesus (peace be upon him) was of human nature or whether he was divine, or both, as was decided by the Catholic bishops in the 5th century AD, has been going on for almost 2000 years. Islam, which is the truth, states that he was a human being and a Prophet .
Quranreference: (3-79/80)

3.
A related question is how we as human beings can come to an understanding of saintlyness or holiness and how we can realize the will of Almighty God.
Or in other words:
How is it possible for man to free himself from the attachment of this world and become virtuous and holy?

For this endeavour man needs such extraordinary examples as (have been) the prophets (a),
who show us the spiritual way and instruct us how man can achieve to climb the heavenly ladder (b).
(a:) Quranreference: (2-213)
(b:) Quranreference: (90-11)

4.
The prophets (peace be upon them) often used symbolic language. For what concerns the invisible worlds, symbols are best suited to express complicated relationships or concepts. Especially the relationship 'God - man' was in those ancient times best represented by symbolic expression of 'Father - Son'.

5.
Concerning the here examined concept of 'Father - Son' it has been rightly observed, that 'the Lord'
is another frequently used concept for God, Allah and that the concept 'Father' only gained frequency in connection with the New Testament and spread into Christian religious language.

However the concept 'Father - Son' or 'Sons of God' does already appear in the Old Testament and the two parts of the Bible have to be taken as a whole. The frequency and usage of the concept 'Father - Son' or 'Sons of God' in the Old Testament could be a future field of study for Christian scholars.

Not unimportantly, there has been in Asia Minor and the Greek cultural area the cult of the 'Savior - God' Heracles, which surprisingly has many outstanding similarities with the later Christian cult. Heracles was seen as the earthly incarnation of the highest God (lat. Zeus or gr. Apollon); 'born of the moon-virgin Alcmene, and at the end of his course, clothed in the scralet robe of the sacred king and killed, to be resurrected as his own father (!), and to ascend to heaven to remarry the virgin form of the Goddess all over again.' So it seems that 'the influence of Heracles's cult on early Christianity can hardly be overestimated,' especially if one knows that 'the sacred drama of Heracles's death by fire, which St. Paul assumed to be of great virtue (1 Cor 13:3) was regularly reenacted in St. Paul's hometown Tarsus. SOURCE_DICT

To clarify the different usage of these concepts of 'Father - Son' or 'Sons of God' in both parts of the Bible, some - among many - examples shall be presented here, so the intended meaning of the concept 'Father -Son' will become clearer:

"And you will know with your own heart; that
just as a man corrects his son.
Jahwe your God was correcting you.
"And you must keep the commandments of Jahwe, your God,
by walking in his ways and by fearing him."

Deuteronomy 8:5-6

Some other symbolic expressions also describe the relationship between God and man:
Shepherd - herd, lamb Isaiah 40:11

Then in the New Testament, it appears that human beings can become 'God's children', how is this possible?

"You have heard that it has been said:
'You must love your neighbor' and hate your enemy.
However I say to you: Continue to love your enemies and pray for those persecuting you,
that you may prove yourselves sons of your father who is in the heavens."

Matt 5,43-45

So here, we can clearly see the methaphorical usage of the 'son - father' concept. Because becoming just as sons of the holy father, means of course for us as human beings establishing a spiritual relationship to the Divine Presence, God, Allah, to follow the Will of God.

Also Jesus is called Master, Son of David,
without someone ever claiming that David was Jesus' father!
Math 15:22

6.
Other examples from the New Testament clearly show that Jesus (peace be upon him) used as all prophets - tanzih, which means that he distinguished between what is God's and what belongs to human attributes:

"And when he was going out on his way, a certain man ran up and fell before his knees before him and asked:
'Good Master, what must I do to inherit everlasting life?'
Jesus said to him: 'Why do you call me good? Nobody is good, except one, God.' "

Mark 10:17-18

These examples prove, that the concept'Father, Son' was much wider and more comprehensively used than generally supposed.

7.
Summary:

The concept'Father, Son' was meant to make it easier for the early Christians, to understand the close relationship between Man and God, which - despite everything - is possible and utmost desirable, even necesssary.
This is the case, because man is a being endowed with an intellect, a transcendental intelligence, which enables him to know God, if certain conditions are fulfilled.

The prophets (peace be upon them) were sent to free mankind from polytheism and other superstitions, beliefsystems which are foreign to his original, pure nature (fitrah ), and to link up to this intimate and personal relationship between Man and God.

But unfortunately these and other metaphorical concepts
have been misused in the course of humanity and have helped to degenerate certain religions.
Therefore, in Islam, we avoid to describe the relationship of Allah and man with any such misleading and therefore dangerous concepts, and instead stress His Oneness and Uniqueness (Al-Ahad ). In Islam the relationship between Allah and man is none other than of the believer and the One believed in or the Truely Faithful (Al-Amîn ), or of the lover (of God) and the Beloved, or the humble servant (`abd ) and the Lord (rabb), may His majesty and splendour be exalted...

 

Quranreferences:

Sure al-baqara (2), Vers 213:

"2-213. Mankind were one community, then they differed among themselves, so ALLAH raised Prophets as bearers of good tidings and as warners, and sent down with them the book containing the truth that HE might judge between the people wherein they differed. But then they began to differ about the Book, and none differed about it except those to whom it was given, after clear Signs had come to them, out of envy towards one another. Now has ALLAH, by HIS command, guided the believers to the truth in regard to which they (the unbelievers) differed; and ALLAH guides whomsoever HE pleases to the right path. "

Sure aal-'Imran (3), Vers 78:

"And, surely, among them is a party who twist their tongues while reciting the Book that you may think it to be part of the Book, while it is not part of the Book. And they say `It is from ALLAH;' while it is not from ALLAH; and they utter a lie against ALLAH while they know. "

Sure aal-'Imran (3), Verse 79/80:

"It does not befit a truthful man that ALLAH should give him the Book and Wisdom and Prophethood, and then he should say to men, 'Be my worshippers instead of ALLAH; but he would say,
'Be solely devoted to the Lord because you teach the book and because you study it.

Nor does it befit that he should bid you to take angels and Prophets for lords. What ! would he enjoin you to disbelieve after you have submitted to God. "

Sure Yunus (10), Vers 37:

"And this Quran is not such as could be forged by those besides Allah, but it is a verification of that which is before it and a clear explanation of the book, there is no doubt in it, from the Lord of the worlds. "

Sure al-balad (90), Vers 11:

"But he would not attempt the uphill road, "
Comment: This is the path, which leads towards the Divine Presence.

Hadithreferenz:

Abu Huraira narrated:

The people of the Book used to read the Torah in Hebrew and then explain it in Arabic to the Muslims. Allah's Apostle said (to the Muslims). "Do not believe the people of the Book, nor disbelieve them, but say, 'We believe in Allah and whatever is revealed to us, and whatever is revealed to you.'"

Al-Bukhari B9-460, Buch 92

Bibelzitat:

This is what Jehovah has said, the King of Israel...: "I am the First and the Last, and besides Me there is no God..."

Jesaja 44:6


AT, NT: The Old and the New Testament





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1998-11-16





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