I first encountered this type of theological reasoning when reading the works of Charles Ryrie. It seemed "fishy" to me then and it appears highly suspect now. Can anyone provide solid lexical data that buttresses the claim that the phrase "Son/son of God = possessing the nature of God?
For instance, the Bible calls angels "sons of God," but do they possess the nature of deity, as this nomenclature is defined by Trinitarians?
Secondly, BDB Hebrew-English Lexicon supplies an example where the expression "son of" most certainly does not mean "possessing the nature of X." Take the idiom, "sons of the prophets" (1 Kings 20:35). Are we to assume that it denotes: "possessing the nature of a prophet"? Not according to BDB. Moreover, the phrase "son of a messenger" most clearly does not mean "possessing the nature of a messenger." That is why I am requesting those who take this stand to produce lexical evidence that supports this claim.
Another pertinent example is Ephesians 2:2. The Greek there reads: TOIS hUIOIS THS APEIQEIAS. This linguistic formula or construction does not signify: "possessing the nature of disobedience." It could simply refer to "disobedient [ones]" or "disobedient sons."
"hUIOI THS AP. Hebr. those given to disobedience" (Zerwick's A Grammatical Analysis of the GNT, p. 581).
For more details, see sections 42-44 of Zerwick's Biblical Greek Illustrated by Examples.
NET Bible Footnote: "sn Sons of disobedience is a Semitic idiom that means 'people characterized by disobedience.' However, it also contains a subtle allusion to vv. 4-10: Some of those sons of disobedience have become sons of God."
Some argue that the expression "Son of Man" supports the notion that "Son of God" = "possessing the nature of God." Again, it appears that theology and not lexical semantics is controlling this discussion. Why should the title "Son of Man" have to mean "possessing the nature of a man"? As the Complete Word Study: Old Testament points out, the OT nomenclature "son of man" simply denotes "a man" or "an individual." One could also understand the terminology to connote a "mortal being of flesh." But "Son of Man" (in some contexts) also has "Messianic overtones" (Daniel 7:13-14). That is the way in which the Gospels primarily make use of the title or formula. Son of Man identifies Christ as the Messiah without needing to cart in a "possessing the nature of X" theory.