Son of Man CoverThe Issues

Simply put, this has been the most mentally and emotionally difficult piece I have ever written.

I chose this topic because I am interested in Jesusʼ decision to describe Himself as the “Son of Man” in multiple places through Markʼs Gospel. I deeply desire to be aware of what Jesus was inferring when He spoke these words about Himself. What I was also unaware of was the fierce debate surrounding every aspect of those three words. Scholars have drawn many different lines of battle and have used various techniques (including large doses of ad-hominem1 arguments) to make their point. It is understandable why these differing theologians would argue so passionately: Cambridge theologian Barnabas Lindars described this very debate as “the great centre of debate in New Testament studies of the twentieth century.”2 The amount of written work that has been written on this controversy is staggering, and other theologians have used adjectives such as “vast,” “a bewildering mass,” and “an endless controversy.”3 According to Matthew Black, “The Son of Man problem in the Gospels, is one of the most perplexing and challenging in the whole field of Biblical theology.”4 All of this added together to be one of the most difficult, and most emotionally draining pieces I have ever written.

The Issues at 40,000 Feet

40,000 Feet

Barnabas Lindars

Barnabas Lindars

Describing the full extent of this debate in a few short pages is a futile endeavor. Instead, this article will give the “40,000-foot” view of the debate. Unfortunately just as an airliner that flies over the country-side has a clear view of the topography of the land, at this distance the pilot will undoubtedly miss many of the nuances that can only be understood on the ground level.

I will begin by describing the background of the title “Son of Man” as used by Jesus in the book of Mark. I will then move into the New Testament usage of the term, and will discuss its supposed connections to the Old Testament usage of the title in Daniel 7. I will integrate Daniel 7, because whether or not it has any bearing on Jesusʼ supposed usage is ground-zero for this battle between scholars. I will focus on some of these differing theologians in the second part of the article, and the issues that they are so passionately defending. Finally, I will end with my conclusions regarding the “Son of Man” (SM) title, and why I concluded as such.

The Gospel of Mark has fourteen “Son of Man” sayings in total. The first two direct attention to Jesusʼ authority and Lordship on earth (2:10, 28). The others (8:31; 9:12, 31; 10:33-34; 10:45; 14:21a; 14:21b, 41), use language that speaks of Jesusʼ suffering and possible death. In the middle of those suffering and death references, Mark includes 9:9, “As they were coming down the mountain, he ordered them to tell no one about what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead.” This is the only time in Markʼs gospel that the resurrection is tied with the Son of Man title. Markʼs last mention of Jesusʼ usage in Mark is 14:62, in which Jesus speaks at His trial of the risen Son of Man, sitting at the exalted position at Godʼs right hand.5 Every time Mark records Jesus speaking of “The Son of Man,” Mark writes it as Jesusʼ own self- designation.

The Vision in Daniel 7

The Vision in Daniel 7

The direct connection that can be drawn between Jesusʼ self-designation as “The Son of Man” and the Old Testament is the book of Daniel, chapter 7. “Son of Man” (SM) is mentioned in other parts of the OT, but will not be discussed here. C. H. Dodd explains why the other OT verses should be excluded from this discussion in his Journal of the Theological Society article, stating, “…there are three passages in Scripture containing the term ‘Son of Man,ʼ and three only…which can be used with any degree of confidence to elucidate the New Testament at this point: Psalm 8, Psalm 80, and Daniel 7:9. Though Psalms 8 and 80 are assuredly pre-Christian, it is only Daniel 7 which employs the title in a Messianic sense and which is therefore of significance here.”6 Another reason theologians connect SM with Daniel 7 is because Jesus Himself makes explicit reference to the “abomination of desolation” in the Olivet Discourse of Mark 13, and Longenecker writes that “…it can scarcely be doubted that Daniel 7 was the source upon which Jesus based His own understanding and to which He pointed in His use of the title.”7 But was He the one in whom this vision of Daniel was to proceed to its realization? Morna Hooker’s concluded her treatise, The Son of Man in Mark, by stating that “…the authority, necessity for suffering, and confidence in final vindication, which are all expressed in the Marcan [Son of Man] sayings, and can all be traced to Daniel 7.”8

Was Jesus the First to use the Term “Son of Man?”

Rudolf Bultmann

Rudolf Bultmann

Now that I have covered Jesusʼ self-designation as SM in Mark, it is important to note that scholars disagree as to whether Jesus was the first person to use this term, and if He was also the last. It has been argued by scholars that this language was also on the lips of other Jews in the first century, and after Easter, also on the lips of early Christians. Adversely, there are theologians stating that out of those three groups of individuals, Jesus was actually the only one who did not use those words. It is argued that the SM-language in Mark was a vaticinici ex eventu writing onto the lips of Jesus by the post-easter first church. Simply stated, if Jesus did not speak these words about Himself, the argument as to what He meant by them is moot. This polemic is agreed on by the more liberal scholars, such as Hooker, Adams, Hay, and Perrin- but these theologians have Rudolph Bultmann to thank for beginning the conversation.

Morna Hooker

Morna Hooker

Bultmann headed a large group of scholars which have a self-designation of their own, “The Jesus Seminar.” Bultmannian belief is that the only remaining genuine SM sayings of Jesus are when Jesus is referencing an eschatological figure other than Himself. The only SM sayings that did carry any authenticity were the only ones that referred to the earthly work of the Son of Man.9 In Bultmann’s Theology of the New Testament, Vol. 1, he made the following points:

  1. Jesus never employed the expression Son of Man of himself
  2. Jesus only used the title with regard to the coming apocalyptic Redeemer figure who would vindicate his own earthly ministry.
  3. It was the early church that via a series of misconceptions applied the title directly to Jesus, at first identifying him as the coming Son of Man himself and then identifying him as the Son of Man in his earthly ministry and sufferings, connecting him with the “suffering servant” polemic woven throughout the surrounding chapters of Daniel 7.
Adela Yarbro-Collins

Adela Yarbro-Collins

Bultmann guarded his structure of thought by placing an intellectual minefield around it; stating that any future evidence on the contrary exists because it was fabricated by the church in order to justify its own later ascribing of Jesus as the Son of Man.10 American theologian Burton Mack took Bultmannʼs work a step farther, claiming that Jesus was not even eschatological, let alone apocalyptic.11 Adela Yarbro Collins quotes Mackʼs statements at the 1986 annual meeting of the Jesus Seminar; “The question is not how the Proclaimer became the Proclaimed, but how the Proclaimed became the Proclaimer.12 Yarbro agrees, stating: “Jesus now appears to have been, not an apocalyptic prophet, but a sage, a poet, or a wandering Cynic philosopher… in a word, there has been a paradigm shift: Jesus is now placed in a wisdom context rather than in a prophetic-apocalyptic one.”13

If Jesus did not indeed give Himself this title, and thusly did not make any intention to connect Himself with the apocalyptic/messianic figure in Daniel… who wrote this onto His lips? Wheaton College professor and theologian Nicholas Perrin believes that Jesusʼ supposed-self-designation was assigned to Him by Mark, while writing gospel that bears his name:
Norman Perrin

Norman Perrin

To him (Mark) we owe the general picture we have from the Gospels that “Son of man” is Jesus’ favorite self-designation and that Jesus used it to teach his disciples to understand both the true nature of his messiahship as including suffering and glory, and the true nature of Christian discipleship as the way to glory through suffering. Because of the Gospel of Mark, we get the impression that this is what Jesus does, but this is actually what Mark does, for recent research has shown that a major purpose in the writing of the Marcan Gospel is christological. It was the purpose of the evangelist to teach the Christians of his day a true Christology in place of the false Christology that he felt they were in danger of accepting. The method he chooses is that of a most carefully constructed narrative in which the false Christology is put on the lips of the disciples and the true Christology is put on the lips of Jesus.14

The Bultmannian scholar would believe that Mark shows his cards at the very beginning of game, when He writes, “The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” (Mark 1:1, NRSV) This revealed that Markʼs intention for his book would be to direct the Christological understandings of the reader.15

Distilling the voluminous thoughts of these theologians into their simplest forms, it would appear that a post-easter church sought to combat what they agreed on as incorrect understandings of Christ, by writing a narrative work that would include Jesus Himself espousing the very theology they believed. Bultmannian scholars believe that to understand Mark, one must “…be able to distinguish between traditional uses allowed to stand in inherited material and special Marcan redaction or composition.”16 Morna Hooker wrote in her treatise Son of Man in Mark, “…where a saying or a tradition about Jesus in the gospels reflects the theology of the post-resurrection church, that saying or tradition must be placed to the credit of the church, rather than to Jesus himself, or to his original history.”17 Hooker went on to critique the modern use of form-criticism, believing theologians had not yet gone far enough- scholars should reject all of the SM sayings in Mark as later additions. Theologian Nicholas Perrin wrote in agreement that no SM references were original, politely calling the additions “creative…” as opposed to outright fabrications: 

I would claim that the Marcan use of Son of man reveals a threefold purpose: the necessity for combating a false understanding of Jesus as Son of God and replacing it by one which emphasizes the necessity for suffering; the development of the theme that the necessity for suffering is laid also upon the disciples; and the understanding of that necessary suffering as the way to the salvation of mankind when accepted by Jesus and as the way to glory for the believer when accepted by him. All of this is held together by the use of Son of man. This is not only the most creative moment in the use of Son of man in the New Testament; it is also one of the most creative moments in the development of the theology of the New Testament altogether.”18

Maurice Casey

Maurice Casey

Perrin finished his paper by announcing that “…the burden of proof must be held to be very heavily upon anyone who wants to claim that a saying expressing a definite Christology . . . goes back to Jesus himself.”19  This seems strange to me, because logically the real burden of proof rests on those who question if the status quo is an incorrect belief. ”The “status quo” for millennia has been that Jesus not only spoke the words “Son of Man” in reference to Himself, but connected them with the apocalyptic- redeemer figure of Daniel 7. Many conservative scholars still hold this belief, and will vigorously defend it. One of those theologians, Maurice Casey, wrote in The Solution to the ʻSon of Manʼ Problem;

“The house of the apocalyptic reconstruction of the historical Jesus, however, was not built on sand. It has not been washed away by the new wave of interpretation and some scholars have noted that fact.”20

Don Jackson wrote a article for Restoration Quarterly attacking Perrinʼs teachings, stating that Perrinʼs approach “…is only as sound as its presuppositions…” and that Perrin had limited the work of Mark and his own understanding of it by dissecting and analyzing single verses, instead of considering Markʼs over-arching narrative form, and encourages conservative theologians that “…it is right to resist the notion that this tradition arose only after Jesusʼ death.”21

This piece will not attempt to participate in the form-criticism work done in the Aramaic and the Greek, as both sides of the argument have found this work bereft of strong evidence.22 I believe that the more compelling evidence in support of a traditional reading of the SM instead uses the Marcian meta-narrative, paired with logic.

Richard Longennecker

Richard Longennecker

Longenecker has written extensively in support of a traditional reading of Mark, calling the Bultmannian position “unconvincing,”23 and states that “…though this line of argument is highly defensible on its own presuppositions, it runs roughshod over prima facie interpretations of the evidence and bases itself upon hypothetical re-constructions in favor of a more normal reading of the data.”24 According to Longenecker, a “more normal” reading of the text invokes the image of a Russian nesting doll: it does not dissect pericope from Markʼs work as a narrative whole, and does not dissect the whole of Markʼs work or the whole of the entire NT cannon. If the opposing theologians will also practice this type of “normal reading,” Longennecker believes they will find a congruent agreement on the usage and meaning of SM:

In no instance is the title recorded as given to Jesus by others, nor is it employed in any explanatory manner by the evangelists themselves. Furthermore, it is found in all the strata of the tradition…it would seem that there is a widely based tradition that Jesus used the term of Himself and little evidence that there was any extensive use of Son of Man as a Christological title on the part of Christians during the first century. The title…varied very little by Matthew and Luke in their adoption of the passages in which it occurs in Mark…which suggests “a particular reverence for it…” We cannot, therefore, speak of the Gospels’ use of Son of Man as being simply editorial… though it was not a current designation for Jesus in their circles at the time of writing, the evangelists received it and preserved it—probably in large measure because they did not know to what other title they might change it.25

To summarize, if a criterion of multiple attestation is used, and a larger cross- section of Scripture is considered, “ the authenticity of the expression Son of Man on the lips of an Aramaic-speaking Jesus comes off again quite well.”26 Beyond the possible evidence of multiple attestation, it is the great care in which the early church writers used the SM term that may speak into its original meaning.

Joachim ("J") Jeremias

Joachim (“J”) Jeremias

In J. Jeremiasʼs book, New Testament Theology: The Proclamation of Jesus, he ponders the rhetorical question as to why the early community of believers avoided the title in an effort to avoid its confusion, and did not use it in a single confession- yet through the synoptics, the writers still handed the SM down as a saying of Jesus, used only Himself, and exclusively in reference to Himself.27 Jeremias answers his own question, writing: “There can only be one answer; the title was rooted in the tradition of the sayings of Jesus right from the beginning; as a result, it was acrosanct, and no-one dared eliminate it.”28 

“Son of Man” – A Circumlocution?

But what of the opposing view that the usage of “Son of Man” was simply a circumlocution of “I,” or simply another way of saying “a man?” Don Jackson offers a concise description of this belief, and its origin: “Géza Vermes’ paper, which appeared as an appendix to the third edition of An Aramaic Approach to the Gospels and Acts, sought to prove that the Aramaic original which underlay the Greek was an idiom meaning nothing more than the personal pronoun “I.” The result of his study… was to consider as authentic only those sayings in the gospel tradition which were not connected with Daniel 7, i.e., the present and passion sayings were accepted, and the apocalyptic sayings were rejected as secondary.29 “

Casey wrote that Aramaic philologists have agreed that the Semitic terms relevant to this discussion may have a generic sense, “a human being,” or an indefinite sense, “someone,”30 But Vermesʼ usage to redact sections of Mark have been widely disputed. Due to the “personal pronoun understanding” being bereft of credible evidence in support.3132

JesusThe evidence in support Vermesʼ work is thin, but the logic involved in it is even more gaunt. For example, when Jesus declares to the paralytic in Mark 2:10-11, “…so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins, I say to you, stand up, take your mat and go to your home.” (NRSV) If indeed Jesus was simply saying “…so that you may know that I have authority on earth to forgive sins,” it is surprising that He was not stoned immediately.33 Maurice Casey argues that Jesusʼ forgiving the paralytic “…would not be strikingly novel in a Jewish context. According to Num 15:25, ʻthe priest shall make atonement for the congregation of the people of Israel, and they shall be forgiven.ʼ The Synoptic saying would be novel if it said that even non-priests could forgive sins or that sins could be forgiven without sacrifice. But it does not say any such thing.”34 Casey correctly interprets and understands this pericope in Mark when Casey states that Jesus does not say that non-priests can forgive sins. The verse Casey does misinterpret is actually in Numbers. Casey neglects to see that at no point in Numbers is the forgiveness ushered from the priest himself. 

JesusThe priest acts as a conduit for the forgiveness that can only come from Yahweh. There is indeed a circumlocution at play in Mark 2- When Jesus states that He is the “Son of Man,” Jesus is not simply saying “I,” he is saying “I AM.”- And then proceeds to grant the forgiveness.35

If Vermes is correct and this is a possible translation of the Aramaic, it could be possible that Jesus was still referring to Himself as “I,” and “God,” and “Redeemer” simultaneously. Longenecker reiterates this: “…There was a decided reticence on his part to allow himself to be acclaimed in messianic terms, and the laying out of a servant motif in Jesus’ self-consciousness depends more on inference and allusion than direct statement…I’m attempting to point out here, however, is that when Jesus wanted to set before his disciples the nature of his person and ministry he did so repeatedly in terms of his being the Son of Man.36

JesusIn the previous section I argued that Jesus did indeed self-designate Himself as the SM. But what did Jesus mean by the giving Himself this title? Darrell L. Bockʼs discusses what Jesus might have been insinuating in the chapter he wrote for Hurtadoʼs Who is This Son of Man? Bock writes, “…Jesus identified himself as the Son of Man, a claim that forced the leadershipʼs hand to oppose him to the full force of their powers, given that they did not accept his self-confession.”37

J. Massingberd Ford reiterates this:

“Jesusʼ calling of himself ʻSon of Godʼ may lie in the fact that the title whereby he did designate himself, “Son of man” might be a euphemism for ʻSon of God.ʼ”38 Although there is not exact linguistic correspondence with the Danielle SM phrase, Jesusʼ manifestation of the Divine presence on the earth in 2:10 and 28 should be considered a natural corollary of Jesusʼ association with Yahwehʼs presence in the heavenly temple.

The SM forgiving sin and exercising authority over sin and sabbath are prerogatives of Yahweh alone.39 Ford argued this same point in his Journal of Biblical Literature article “The Son of Man, a Euphemism?” writing that a reverence for the Divine Name was what gave rise to the use of epithets for the Deity. “God is frequently called “The Majesty,” “The Holy One,” “The Strong one,” “The Stone,” “The Rock,” or “The Place.”40 The epithets protect the speaker from risking even the mention of the Divine Name- a crime punishable by death. Ford cites the historical record of a trial of a supposed blasphemer in front of the Sanhedrin to show how seriously this was treated:

At a trial for blasphemy the Name was only pronounced once and this when all but the chief witness and two others, who do not pronounce the “blasphemy,” had withdrawn: “The blasphemer” is not culpable unless he pronounces the Name itself… When sentence was to be given they did not declare him guilty of death [on the grounds of evidence given] with the substituted name, but they sent out all the people and asked the chief among the witnesses and said to him, “Say expressly what thou heardest,” and he says it: and the judges stand up on their feet and rend their garments, and they may not mend them again. And the second witness says, “I also heard the like,” and the third says “I also heard the like” Against this background it is not surprising that Jesus does not call himself the “Son of God” in the synoptic gospels. It is possible that SM may be equivalent to Yahweh.41

The Crucifixion - Hans MuelichA non-Marcian pericope that lends strong evidence to the similarity between “Son of man/Son of God,” and the attribution of blasphemy because of this substitute, is the scene of Stephenʼs execution in Acts 7:56. It is only when Stephen declares that he sees the Son of Man at the right hand of God that the people stop their ears (presumably against the blasphemy), and drag Stephen out of the city to be stoned.42 It is evident that Jesusʼ usage of SM was indeed a circumlocution, but not one that stands in replacement of a personal pronoun, but one that stands in place of the Name of God. Longenecker believes that Jesus “…adopted the term Son of Man just because it was an ambiguous term, revealing as well as hiding.43  Despite Jesusʼ usage of terms that navigated around committing blasphemy outright, He was crucified when His presence and subsequent re-orienting of the templeʼs sacred space around Himself became too much for the Jewish leadership to handle. In this, Jesusʼ death reflects the narrative of Daniel 7: “Initially Jesus, the SM, [redefined temple] by manifesting the Divine presence. However, the temple leaders eventually cause the SM to suffer and die, through which redemption for Jesus’ faithful followers is provided and a new temple community is formed. The SM’s manifestation of the Divine Presence, and His redemptive suffering finds vindication at the appearance of the exalted priestly SM who comes in the context of a celestial temple.”44

I have argued in favor of the belief that Jesus did designate Himself “The Son of Man,” and that in using this terminology He was speaking a circumlocution in leu of volunteering His divinity outright. With this understanding, the answer as to whether or not Jesus was indeed connecting Himself with the figure in Daniel 7 becomes more clear. Contrasting the Bultmannian position that “…asserts that Jesus only spoke of a future Son of Man distinct from himself, and that the identification of this Son of Man with Jesus, and all references to a suffering Son of Man, must be credited to the early church- as it placed later Christological titles of its own manufacture back on the lips of Jesus”45  Longenecker skewers this view, asking a simple question: “…why were Christians so circumspect as to preserve such a saying as that of Luke 12:8, (“Everyone who acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God,”) which Bultmannians point to as a definite instance of Jesus’ distinction between himself and the coming Son of Man, when for them (as Bultmannians insist) there existed no such distinction between Jesus and the Son of Man?”46

Jesus RisenI will restate the words of Professor Morna Hooker, a woman closely tied with Bultmannian thought: “…the authority, necessity for suffering, and confidence in final vindication, which are all expressed in the Marcan [Son of Man] sayings, can all be traced to Dan. 7.”47 Quickly the fears of those who wish to strip the Scriptures from their power and meaning are revealed: “To understand the pattern of Jesus’ ministry according to the Danielle Son of Man imagery… is not only significant for the pattern of our theological formulations, it is also significant for the pattern of our Christian discipleship—for in naming him Lord, we also take upon ourselves the pattern of his life. The Gospel of Mark, again, is quite explicit in this regard.”48 If the Bultmannian scholars can argue for the dismissal of any evidence of Jesus as a divine figure, then the demands of Jesus on their lives can also be dismissed, or at best, placed under a microscope and studied objectively. But if Jesus is indeed not only Divine, but also a Redeemer and a coming Judge, then the requests Jesus makes of them emerge from the confines of academic study and demand an answer. Sadly, an answer is not something they are willing to provide.

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  1. “To the man” -When arguments and attacks turn personal, instead of focusing on the issues. []
  2. Lindars, Barnabas. Jesus Son of Man: A Fresh Examination of the Son of Man Sayings in the Gospels (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans; London: SPCK, 1983) 1. []
  3. Donahue, John R. “Recent studies on the origin of “Son of Man” in the gospels.” Catholic Biblical Quarterly 48, no. 3 (July 1, 1986): 484-498. 484 -Quoting Fitzmyer, Higgens, Hooker, and Lindars. []
  4. Matthew Black, “The Son of Man Problem in Recent Research and Debate,” BJRL 45 (1963) 305. []
  5. Adams, Edward. “The coming of the son of man in Mark’s Gospel.” Tyndale Bulletin 56, no. 2 (January 1, 2005): 39-61. 48 []
  6. Longenecker, Richard N. “Son of man” as a self-designation of Jesus.” Journal Of The Evangelical Theological Society 12, no. 3 (June 1, 1969): 151-158. 153 []
  7. Ibid. 156 []
  8. Hooker, Morna D.The Son of Man in Mark: A Study of the Background of the term ‘Son of Man’ and Itʼs Use in St Mark’s Gospel (London: SPCK, 1967): 192. []
  9. Schweizer, Eduard. “The Son of Man,” Journal of Biblical Literature 70 (1960): 119-130 []
  10. Bultmann, Rudoph. Theology of the New Testament, vol. I, trans. K. Grobel (London: SCM, 1952), 29-31, 49. []
  11. Collins, Adela Yarbro. Cosmology and Eschatology in Jewish and Christian Apocalypticism. (Leiden: Brill, 2000). 142 -Collins cites the source of this as the October 1986 meeting of the Jesus Seminar at the University of Notre Dame and at a session of the Q Seminar at the 1986 Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature. []
  12. Ibid. 142 []
  13. Ibid. 142 []
  14. Perrin, Norman. “Creative use of the Son of Man traditions by Mark.” Union Seminary Quarterly Review 23, no. 4 (June 1, 1968): 357-365. 257 []
  15. Adams, Edward. “The coming of the son…” 264. “It can be seen that there is a clear pattern to Mark’s use of Son of man. His overall purpose is to use the term to interpret and to give a correct content to the belief in Jesus as Son of God, and he begins therefore with a clear statement of the theme of Jesus’ earthly authority as Son of God/Son of man.” []
  16. Ibid. 385 []
  17. Hooker, Morna D. The Son of Man in Mark, 7 []
  18. Perrin, 365 []
  19. Perrin, 357 []
  20. Casey, Maurice. The Solution to the ‘son of Man’ Problem. (London: T & T Clark, 2009). 142 []
  21. Casey 142, 143 []
  22. Jackson, Don. “A survey of the 1967-1981 study of the Son of Man.” Restoration Quarterly 28, no. 2 (1986): 67-78. 78 Jackson also writes, “Will the methods of form-criticism and tradition-criticism ever solve the Son ofMan problem?” with a tentative “No.”(Hooker, The Son ofMan in Mark, pp. 4) Since that time, however, the continued fragmentation on the study of the Son of Man would clearly suggest that the key to unlocking the puzzle must be found beyond form-criticism. It is the opinion of this writer that there is a need for scholars to follow a more literary course, which accepts the fact that the only solid evidence for Jesus’ use of the Son of Man is to be found in the Gospels.” []
  23. Longenecker, “Son of man” as a self-designation of Jesus”, 155 []
  24. Ibid. 154, 155 []
  25. Longenecker, “Son of man” as a self-designation of Jesus”, 156 (my emphasis) []
  26. Longenecker, Richard N. “Son of Man imagery : some implications for theology and discipleship.” Journal Of The Evangelical Theological Society 18, no. 1 (December 1, 1975): 3-16. 9 []
  27. Here Donahue creatively uses the same logic to contest this understanding, writing: “One of the most intractable problems with Son of man is that it appears as a self-designation for Jesus only in the Gospels. If the phrase was important to either the original Palestinian community, to early Hellenists, or to pre-Pauline communities, why is it not attested? If it is so significant in the Gospels, why is it not attested in the later NT literature?” Donahue, 498. []
  28. Jeremias, J. New Testament Theology: The Proclamation of Jesus trans. John Bowden; (New York: Scribner, 1971), 266 []
  29. Jackson, 70 []
  30. Casey, 146 []
  31. Ibid. 146 []
  32. Shepherd, Dave. (2011). Re-Solving the Son of Man ʻProblem” in Aramaic. In L. W. Hurtado (Ed.), ʻWho is this Son of Man?ʼ (pp. 50–60). (London: T&T Clark). 60 – “…unless or until further evidence is forthcoming, the hypothesis that this expression was either an ordinary or common way of generically referring to “a man” in the Aramaic of Jesusʼ time seems utterly beret of relevant evidence.” []
  33. Ford, J Massyngberde. 1968. “Son of Man : A Euphemism?.” Journal Of Biblical Literature 87, no. 3: 257-266. 265 This is drawn from Fordʼs statement, “Jesus claims that the Son of man can forgive sin. The pericope clearly shows that the Jews considered that only Yahweh could forgive sin and that in asserting this authority to do so the “Son of man” blasphemed.” []
  34. Casey, 147 []
  35. Hay, L. Scott. “Son of Man in Mark 2:10 and 2:28.” Journal Of Biblical Literature 89, no. 1 (March 1, 1970): 69-75. 72 Hay disagrees, stating that“…in this [Daniel 7] pericope there is no evidence that [an apocalyptic understanding] is the case. Moreover, there are very serious considerations which militate against such a view. To begin with, there is absolutely nothing “apocalyptic” about the passage. In addition, there is no evidence that the apocalyptic son of man was conceived as forgiving sins. There remains, then, only one other alternative — viz., that “son of man” means simply “man.” And that is precisely the sense of the term which the context demands. The point of the scribes’ outraged reaction is that Jesus, a man, is usurping the prerogative of God.” []
  36. Longenecker, “Son of Man imagery : some implications for theology and discipleship.” 12 []
  37. Bock, Darrell L. (2011). The use of daniel 7 in Jesusʼ Trial, With Implications for His Self-Understanding In L. W. Hurtado (Ed.), ʻWho is this Son of Man?ʼ (pp. 78–100). (London: T&T Clark). []
  38. Ford, 256 []
  39. Snow, Robert S. 2009. “Daniel’s son of man in Mark: a redefinition of the earthly temple and the formation of a new temple community.” Tyndale Bulletin 60, no. 2: 305-308. 306 []
  40. Ford, 259 []
  41. Ford, 259 Citing M. Sanhedrin 7, 5 (Emphasis mine) []
  42. Ibid. 262 []
  43. Longenecker, “Son of man” as a self-designation of Jesus”, 156 (Emphasis mine) []
  44. Snow, 305 []
  45. Longenecker, “Son of man” as a self-designation of Jesus”, 155 []
  46. bid. 155 []
  47. Hooker, 192. []
  48. Longenecker, “Son of Man imagery : some implications for theology and discipleship.” 15 []