There are a number of titles applied to Jesus throughout Scripture with all of them bringing to light an important aspect of our Savior. Exploring the underlying meaning of those titles and the context in which they are used is an important element of sound Bible study. One such title is that of Jesus being described as the Son of God. Graeme Goldsworthy, in his excellent book The Son of God and the New Creation, walks the reader through what this particular title is all about and how the theme of the divine Sonship of Christ can be traced through the entirety of Scripture.
Over the past could of months, I have been drawn to books that have focused on a particular theme, tracing the use of certain terms, phrases, and concepts all through Scripture, exploring their use and importance. While some may find those types of books a little dull, from my experience, understanding words, patterns, and principles in Scripture is of the utmost importance. Misapply a term or misunderstand its meaning, in particular its specific use in Scripture in a particular context or in various periscope and you quite possible might negatively impact your grasp of what God is revealing.
When it comes to the term Son of God, we have before us a term title pregnant with meaning and purpose. As Goldsworthy rightly notes, “The title Son of God clearly indicates a special relationship between Jesus and God the Father.” Of course the exact nature of this relationship is something in need of exploring and Goldsworthy does a marvelous job of doing just that in this book.
Before setting out on his thematic journey through the Bible, Goldworthy first sets some essential ground rules on the nature of doing a thematic study of Scripture. This is most appreciated and necessary on a number of levels. He aptly reminds the reader that “As we examine our subject and related themes, we bear in mind the structure of redemptive revelation.” A title such as the Son of God can be traced through all of Scripture and in doing so, one must be cognizant of the progressive nature of its use and how this title always points to Jesus.
Goldsworthy begins his study with the New Testament and then works backwards to the Old Testament. This may seem a bit backwards at first glance given most thematic studies start with an examination of the Old Testament and then move forward into the New Testament witness. Goldsworthy provides a relevant explanation for starting with the New Testament, namely the reality that unfortunately, many are not as familiar or well versed in the Old Testament as they are in the New. Thus, he begins by taking a look at more familiar passages and then moves into the Old Testament text by looking at Adam, the various uses of the Son of God title, all the while working in those more familiar New Testament texts into the conversation.
I fully appreciated the manner by which Goldsworthy approaches this important topic. Those who read this short, yet informative book will be presented with a valuable journey through Scripture, one that weaves together what Jesus as the Son of God is all about, why it is biblically important, and how to understand the sheer beauty of the Son of God and what He did on our behalf. This is a book I highly recommend for all believers.