The "Son of God" is not a unique idea to christianity, it's roots lie in mosaic judaism and you can find it in Daniel 3 and Proverbs 30
amoung some other places. God did say he himself would visit Israel for punishment Exodus 32:34, so God showing up in person is also not unique to
christianity as he also appeared in the flesh in Exodus 33:19-23.
The phrase surely predates Christianity. What may be the oldest part of the Bible, the beginning of Job
, has the angels, apparently including
Satan, as sons of God. In Daniel
3: 92, King Nebuchadnezzar describes an angel that way. Proverbs
30 : 4 asks what person does what God
does. The question is rhetorical, and so, too, is the question about that person's son. The Exodus
passages are temporal interventions of God
himself, then or in the near funture, not by a son, and not centuries later, in my reading.
The Christian distinction is to posit the unique literally begotten Son of God, a human being, and to work through what that would mean. That is not a
Jewish or Hebrew idea.
If they decided to violate an important commandment
They didn't decide to violate a commandment, they decided conscientiously what acts would, and what acts would not, be violations, much as you and I
are deliberating right now.
When did Christianity become an "anything goes" kind of religion?
I am unsure what you're asking. To act in accordance to a well-formed conscience is hardly "anything goes."
Nicene Christianity decided that Jesus is both God and man.
I doubt that anyone gets to decide the truth of any matter or their beliefs about it. It appears that the proto-orthodox (that is, Christians before
Nicaea) inferred to the best explanation of the facts they had accepted, and concluded that Jesus was God. Nicene Christians continue to hold that
The bishops at Nicaea voted about other things, but they didn't vote about whether Jesus was God. Nobody with a vote there believed otherwise. There
was nothing about that to vote on.
Does your bible narrate the angel telling Mary she would be giving birth to a child who is fully man and fully God?
No, the scene in Luke
has the angel addressing Mary's own concerns about the project.
A remarkable thing about the Mary-Gabriel scene is how realistically Jewish it is. Mary is entirely at liberty to tell the Creator of the Universe to
go fly a kite. Gabriel asks for her permission, and responds to her objections. She decides what she will do, according to her conscience. God
doesn't dictate, he asks.
In reviewing my answer to you, I see that you still project Islamic notions of scripture onto the thoroughly unIslamic Bible. Neither the New
Testament nor the Hebrew Bible before it is dictation from God. A revelation is described, and thinking men and women figure out what that means.
Generally, this results in a diversity of opinions surrounding a core of consensus.
It is almost as if God, having created thinking men and women, now expects men and women to think.
Christianity has its roots in the Jewish religion.
Which, as we have had occasion to discuss, includes a role for righteous Gentiles. That role does not involve Gentiles becoming Jewish. The two
religions, then, are distinct. Christianity has no roots in the current living form of Judaism. Although they share some scripture, the two groups
read those scriptures differently, often very differently. Other scriptures, like the Talmud on the Jewish side and the New Testament on the Christian
side, are not shared.
Which group of "Christians" are correct on this matter? You tell me.
I don't know. However, you and I were discussing Nicene Christians, all of whom believe that Jesus is God and man, as other Christians did before
them, and did before the Roman Imperial establishment (which, BTW, Nicaea itself was before). But it's good to see that you appreciate how many other
meaty issues there are in christology besides the defining one.