Matthew 26:63-64 NIV:

The high priest said to him, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.” “You have said so,” Jesus replied.

So do Jews believe that the Messiah is to be the Son of God or is it a later Christian invention?

Jews tend to think that christians commit idolatry. However, merely believing that Jesus is the messiah is not idolatry. Rabbi Akiva did that too to someone else.

The question is about the idea whether messiah is the Son of God or not. If even the high priest, and Peter, believed that, then it'll be very interesting. Peter, a jew, also equated Son of God with Messiah when Jesus asked "Who do you think I am?"

This question is not about divinity of Jesus. That will be a different question. The question is whether the idea that messiah is a Son of God (perhaps in some lesser sense) originate out of judaism.

  • 2
    I think this belongs on Judaism.SE, it's a question about Judaism not Christianity.
    – Waggers
    Nov 17, 2011 at 7:02
  • @Waggers I'm not sure, though, since it references a New Testament passage.
    – Narnian
    Nov 17, 2011 at 13:08
  • A good question. It's not about what the high priest thought about Jesus, but what his understanding of the person The Messiah was. Nov 18, 2011 at 8:43
  • 2
    Judaism is the wrong place for this. It would be the right place to ask what the general Jewish beliefs about the Messiah were in 33AD, but not for a specific interpretation of the Christian scripture. Nov 19, 2011 at 22:19
  • 1
    @DJClayworth That's why I think it should go to Judiasm.SE because I'm under the impression that the OP wants the historical Jewish perspective.
    – user23
    Nov 20, 2011 at 2:36

1 Answer 1


Several Second Temple documents — and not just the Christian tradition — reflect the hope that God will re-establish the Israelite monarchy. This was often based on the promises God makes to David in 2 Sam 7, which state that his son Solomon:

  1. Will build the Temple.
  2. Will become God's son.
  3. Will have a throne established forever.

This makes excellent sense of the fact that the High Priest, in the passage you are asking about, moves directly from questions about Jesus's relationship to the Temple to a question about whether Jesus is God's son: both questions were attempts to determine whether Jesus saw himself as a fulfillment of 2 Sam 7. So when the High Priest asked if Jesus was God's son, he meant, “do you think God has adopted you as a son to rule over his people Israel, like he adopted Solomon as his son?”

  • Interesting. So the idea that Messiah is Son of God (even though adopted) is actually jewish. The difference between christians and jews are not that big then.
    – user4951
    Nov 19, 2011 at 14:26
  • I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong, I will punish him with a rod wielded by men, with floggings inflicted by human hands. 15 But my love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. - Doesn't look like Christians' Jesus to me.
    – user4951
    Nov 19, 2011 at 14:28
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    Solomon throne is finished though. So are the ancient unified Israel kingdom. Should I make a question why God's promise fail? If 2 Samuel 7 refer to Messiah, then what's about the punishment and does wrong stuff?
    – user4951
    Nov 19, 2011 at 14:32
  • Or perhaps God's promise fail simply because he didn't wrote the scripture. Then we shoehorn what we know to the theory that somehow it's all related.
    – user4951
    Dec 14, 2011 at 14:46
  • When I read High priest asking that is Jesus Christ, the Son of living God, I immediately think about doctrine of trinity and Christ is messianic(denoting to OT messianic prophecies) title for Jesus. I have not thought that what High priest was trying to ask was that whether Jesus is son of God like Salomon was son of God.
    – alvoutila
    Sep 10, 2014 at 19:59

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