Is Jesus A Son or a Servant: A Close Look at Acts 3:13

One of the cheap argument the Muslims (not the Scholarly ones) often bring forth against the Bible is the issue of translation, and in this case, the rendition of “son” and “servant” in KJV and RSV respectively among other translations of the Bible.

Because of this difference, most of them conclude that this is a contradiction, they wonder why Jesus can be called a son and servant at the same time bearing in mind that the word “son” and “servant” does not connote the same thing.

The reason this argument keep coming up is simply due to the fact that the Muslims don’t care to look up the greek word used in that verse of the Bible, namely Acts 3:13 and 3:26, once this is done, any attempt to bring this up as a valid argument will be seen as attacking strawman and playing blind to the fact. We also understand that some Muslims who are not familiar with this are sincerely ignorant of this fact which is the reason why this article is bee written to help clear their misconception and ignorance on this subject.

Here is the verse in question from the KJV, it read thus:

The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go.

And the RSV render it thus:

The God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified his servant Jesus, whom you delivered up and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release him.

The Muslims concludes that since the KJV and RSV could not agree on whether Jesus was a son or servant, then, it means this is a contradiction, as we shall see, this is a matter of understanding the greek words and the roles it plays in context.

The greek word used in this verse παίω “pais” pronounced “paheece”, according to the Strong’s Exhaustive Lexicon it means the following:

“a boy (as often beaten with impunity), or (by analogy), a girl, and (genitive case) a child; specially, a slave or servant (especially a minister to a king; and by eminence to God):–child, maid(-en), (man) servant, son, young man.”