The Incarnation of the Son of God -- By: John F. Walvoord

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 105:417 (Jan 1948)
Article: The Incarnation of the Son of God
Author: John F. Walvoord

The Incarnation of the Son of God

John F. Walvoord

[Author’s note: This article begins the study of the Son of God in the incarnate state with the consideration of the contribution of Messianic prophecy. Later articles will include a survey of the types of Christ in the Old Testament, the consideration of the incarnation itself, and a discussion of the person of the incarnate Son of God.]


The incarnation of the Son of God is one of the important lines of revelation in both the Old and New Testaments. The whole plan of the ages has the incarnation as its central and most important aspect. The incarnation is at once the revelation of God, the revelation of man, and the revelation of salvation in the plan of God, the scope of the revelation being so vast that any major aspect of it becomes itself an extensive field of study.

The plan of consideration here for the most part waives the discussion of critical schools of interpretation in favor of a more simple, Biblical approach. The apologetic for the doctrines considered hangs on the doctrine of the inspiration and infallibility of the Scriptures. Others have dealt with these problems.1 Assuming the Bible to be an accurate revelation in this field of doctrine as in others, the problem to be considered is the content and significance of Biblical teaching on the incarnation. As a background for the study of the incarnation itself, the field of Messianic prophecy and typology will first be investigated.

I. Messianic Prophecy

The Old Testament anticipations of the incarnation of the Son of God are commonly summed in the word Messiah. The English word is derived from the Greek Μεσσίας (Messias) which is a transliteration of the Aramaic form of the Hebrew משׁיח. The equivalent in the New Testament is

Χριστός or Christ. In the Old Testament the adjective form of the Hebrew is used for priests (Lev 4:3, 5, 16; 6:22) and the noun form used for kings (Saul, 1 Sam 24:6, 10; David, 2 Sam 19:21; 23:1; Zedekiah, Lam 4:20). The term Messiah was used as a designation of the hope of the ...

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