What do we mean by Son of God?

When we , Catholics, say that Jesus is the son of God, does that mean he is literally the actual son of God? Or does this have another meaning?

He is the Word of God - the Word made Flesh. Intro to the Gospel of John.


The Son of God is the Second Person of the Holy Trinity. The Son assumed a human nature in Jesus the Christ, and therefore is true God and true man (two natures).

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Mmm lately I’ve been starting to question many things of our faith. Its gotten to the point where I ask a question daily and have to research them on my own, which is tough.

I’ve went on that website to help me but it only brought me more questions, quite ironic.

Could you please explain what exactly, in the most simplest terms (sorry if it seems too much), what the “Word” means?

That appears to be an Evangelical Protestant site. They have more questions than answers. Here is a solid, time tested 100% Catholic source:

From the Catechism:

And from the Modern Catholic Dictionary by Servant of God, Fr. John Hardon, S.J.†
sorry, link broken.

But try this:

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, IMO the world’s greatest living theologian, wrote a three book series entitled Jesus of Nazareth. You CANNOT go wrong in reading them.

But, first and foremost, the absolute best way of knowing the Word made Flesh is to go before Him at adoration. Visit Him. Gaze upon Him. In the silence of your heart, listen to Him. Tell Him your doubts, fears, concerns, questions.

Then be as patient with Him as He has been with you. And when you receive your consolation; when you become aware that He is there, you will be changed.


The Word of God could also be understood as the Will of God.
No God’s will/word has always existed throughout eternity, He is immutable.
The Word itself is so powerful/profound it is its own person, begotten as a Son is begotten. Not created, as God did not create His Will.

That’s a short version as it has been explained to me. The Summa has a little different take, more difficult to understand

I have to second the recommendation of reading Pope Benedict’s Jesus of Nazareth books. Read them in the order published, not starting with the infancy narrative, but first His ministry, and then Holy Week.
I would say these made a huge impact on me.

It’s good to ask questions :slightly_smiling_face:
I’ll keep you in my prayers during this spiritual journey :pray:t2::pray:t2::pray:t2:

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From what I know it’s a form of speech

Jesus is not the literal son of God since he was never created or born .

But in 1st century Judea the son made the works of the father , example if your father was a carpenter you where one as well .
Your father was a baker you as well .

So son of God means in that context the the one who does the work of God

If you are really interested in a deep dive, Arians of the Fourth Century by John Henry Newman will fill you in on the sonship of the Son.

This was the last book that he wrote as an Anglican, and his study taught him that he needed to become Catholic. There is a revised edition from after he became Catholic, but the revisions are just little fixes. So it does not matter which edition you pick, and it is free online at the Newman Reader, the Internet Archive, etc.

Anyhoo, The Apostasy That Wasn’t is a nice lovely summary in popular form of a lot of the same material about theology and church history. Not as deep, but a good explanation.

Brant Pitre’s various books on the interaction between Second Temple Judaism expectations, and what Christ taught, have a lot about the Word and the Son as messianic and divine titles. Steven Smith’s Temple theology books do a lot of this too. Poke around a little, and a lot of underlying assumptions of the Biblical writers will emerge and wave at you.

Simplest term, everything spoken by God… “let there be light” is the word of God. Wvwry commandment l, every action every promise.

Jesus is God’s human form… He is one with God as well, so what He speaks is the word of God.

So Jesus is the Word, (everything spoken by Him) made flesh. So He can better understand us humans.

Hope that help. Jesus was there in the beginning with God.

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I recommend the book Theology for Beginners by Frank Sheed.


This website is NOT a Catholic website. It’s some generic “non denominational” site.

Those who write or post there have no credentials to teach theology. In fact the founder and principle “teacher” has no theology or seminary training at all according into his bio.

Be wary as their theology may be defective.

I would encourage you to read solid Catholic books and approved websites.

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Son of God Biblically was used to refer to certain persons in the Bible in a “non-literal” sense, and included the Davidic Kings and their annointing as Christs. So the expectation was that this would be restored.

As Catholics we believe that they served as types for what would be brought to fruition in Jesus Christ, who is the Triune God through the second person of the Trinity who is eternally generated from the Father.

The English word “Word” is translated from the koine Greek word “Logos”, which has a broader meaning as a rational argument, a rational ordering principle, reason, and yes, “word.” In the OT we also associate the character of “Wisdom” as referring to the Logos, and theologically with God’s act of intellection/knowing.

The word Spirit in Holy Spirit is translated from Pneuma, which is koine Greek means both the English words Spirit or Breath, so the Holy Spirit is the holy breath of God, so to speak, and we see that concept expressed in the OT a lot, and theologically we associate him with God’s will.

[Edit: I should clarify that the Word isn’t God’s intellect and the Holy Spirit isn’t God’s will. The procession that generates the opposing relations Patermity and Filiation is related to God’s act of knowing, and the procession for the opppsing relations involving the Holy Spirit are related to God’s act of willing.]

So from the OT we see the Wisdom and Breath of God as expressions of divine persons of the Trinity. A specific example in the creation narrative is God creating by speaking (his Word) and his holy breath/wind/spirit hovering over creation. The opening of the Gospel of John is essentially a midrash (I’ve seen it called that by some Jewish scholars) on God’s Logos as part of creation, through which all things are made and by which nothing was made without.

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Catechism of the Catholic Church

461 Taking up St. John’s expression, “The Word became flesh”, 82 the Church calls “Incarnation” the fact that the Son of God assumed a human nature in order to accomplish our salvation in it. In a hymn cited by St. Paul, the Church sings the mystery of the Incarnation:

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. 83

Yes. We believe in:

one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all ages. Light of Light, true God of true God, begotten, not made, of one essence with the Father.

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He most certainly IS The Son of God.

It’s how we Understand “Son” - which is essential;
followed by our Accepted that Jesus indeed is the Son of God.

No - never Son via an earthly father …

As a partial understanding I suggest reading 1 John - Chapters 4 and 5


Oh yeah i agree Jesus is the son of god butt son of god is not literal title that we was created or concived by the father
a comon misconception of non trineterians and muslims is that they think Son of god is a literal thing so they say how can god be created or beggoten

so in sumary jesus is the son of god , but son of god is not a literal created Son of god

hope that cleared that up

The title been literal doesnt imply that Jesus was created , but that his divine person came forth from the Father. The Father generated a perfect image of Himself in His Son. So it is literal in the divine sense. Jesus is not a human person but a divine person with a human nature.

As baptised Christians we are created sons of God in the only begotten Son .(Christ Jesus)

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