Encyclopaedia Biblica/Son of Man-Sop

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Encyclopaedia Biblica
Thomas Kelly Cheyne and John Sutherland Black
Son of Man-Sop
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SON OF MAN[edit]


  • Biblical references and textual renderings
    • Synonym of 'man' (1).
    • Special use in Ezekiel (2).
    • Doubtful meaning in Ta'anith, 65b (3).
    • Aramaic usage (4).
    • Analogies in Assyrian, Ethiopic, Arabic (5).
    • Dan. 7:13, Enoch 37-71, Ezra 8:3+ (6-8).
    • Rev., Epistles, Acts 7:56 (9-11).
    • Occurrence in Gospels (12).
      • Renderings in Ancient Versions (13).
  • Early Explanations
    • Patristic and Mediaeval interpretation (14).
    • Resort to the Hebrew (15).
    • Substitute for personal pronoun? (16).
    • Ideal man? (17).
    • Coming man? (18).
    • Current Messianic title? (19).
    • Expression of peculiar Messianic consciousness? (20).
    • Emphasis on lowliness and human sympathy (21).
    • Modified Messianic title? (22).
    • Mystifying title? (23).
    • Composite idea? (24).
    • Prophetic title? (25).
    • Designation of Jesus own ideal, future Messiahship, or indwelling genius? (26).
    • Designation of 'kingdom of heaven'? (27).
    • Creation of Evangelists ? (28).
  • The Philological Method
    • Fresh recourse to Aramaic (29).
    • Basis in generic use and later transformation (30).
      • Defence of this theory (31).
      • Partial agreement (32).
      • Objections by different scholars (33).
      • Schmiedel's criticism (34).
    • Value of philological argument (35).
    • Force of Greek translation (36).
    • Need of literary criticism (37).
  • Results of Philological Approach
    • Genuine sayings during Galilean period (38).
    • Phrase not used at Caesarea Philippi (39).
    • Basis of predictions concerning death and resurrection (40).
    • Synoptic Apocalypse (41).
    • Gospel according to Hebrews (42).
    • Marcion's Gospel (43).
    • Use of term by Gnostics (44).
    • Use in Fourth Gospel (45).
    • Effect on question of Jesus' Messiahship (46).
  • Value of different theories (47).
  • Bibliography (48).

Biblical references and textual renderings[edit]

1. Synonym of 'man'.[edit]

The expression 'Son of Man' (ben adam) is in Hebrew literature a synonym of man. Apart from Ezekiel and Daniel it seems to be used exclusively in poetic style.

ben-adam (C J.X |3) in Nu. 5:3, 5:19, Is. 51:12, 56:2, Jer. 49:18, 49:33, 50:40, 61:43, Ps. 8:5, 80:18, 146:3, Job 16:21, 25:6, 35:8, probably also in the original of Ecclus. 17:30, Judith 8:16, Test. 12 Patr. Joseph 2 ; ben enosh (wx p) in Ps. 144:3. The meaning is rendered perfectly clear by ish (E"K), enosh (fiJx), or geber (73i) occurring in the parallel stichoi. Such poetic expressions may be either survivals of forms once in common use or later creations. When cognate languages offer no analogy, the latter is more probable. In this case, the strongly entrenched Aramaic usage (see 4) is in favour of the former explanation. Collectives like C"1N, BM3N, "12, |Ni are very old ; and the designation of the individual of the species as C;N"|3 or t?i3N"J3, a man, 1p2"j3, an ox, jNi"3, a sheep or a goat, is likely to belong to the same early period.

A still simpler phrase for a 'man', ahad ha-adam (cixn trix), occurs only in Judg. 16:7, where it seems to have been preserved from an earlier form of the story in which Samson was not 'one of mankind' but a solar divinity. While ish (wx, originally also a collective, cp VxiE" wx, tr.x 33) and ishshah (nc tf) apparently tended to displace ben-adam and bath-adam (or bath han-nashim, Dan. 11:17) and were supplemented by adam and enosh in the sense of 'man' 'the human being', der Mensch {frequently found in Ecclus.), the plurals bne adam and bne ish maintained themselves more strongly against the collectives both in the sense of 'people' 'Leute' [german word] and in that of mankind.

The plurals occur thus: C1N33 [BNY 'DM] in Gen. 11:5, Dt. 32:8, 1 S. 26:19, 2 S. 7:12, 1 K. 8:39 Ezek. 31:14, Mic. 5:6, Joel 1:12, Ps. 11:4, 12:2, 12:9, 14:2, 21:11, 31:20, 33:13, 30:8, 45:3, 49:3, 53:3, 57:5, 58:2, 62:10, 66:5, 89:48, 90:3, 107:8, 107:15, 107:21, 107:31, 115:16, 145:12, Prov. 8:4, 8:31, 13:22, Eccl. 2:8, 3:10, 3:21, 8:11, 9:3, 9:12 ; irx:_3 [BNY 'YSh] in Ps. 4:3, 49:3, 62:10, Lam. 3:33, Ecclus. 16:15, 36:23, 38:7, 40:1 ; DTK,! n 133, 'the women of the human race' in Gen. 6:2.

2. Special use in Ezekiel.[edit]

In Ezekiel the expression 'son of man' occurs some ninety times, always as the title by which the prophet is addressed by Yahwe. The question naturally arises, why Ezekiel represented Yahwe as constantly employing this term ; or, if its use was not due to conscious reflection, but to inspiration in a certain pathological condition, why this particular form of speech suggested itself with such frequency.

Jerome regarded the term as expressive of the frailty of him who was honoured with divine visions and commissions, and most modern scholars have found in it an intimation of weakness and insignificance (Srnend, Bertholet, Kraetzschmar, Toy).

Appel, however, deems this explanation inadequate, examines the title in the light of the various passages in which it occurs, and comes to the conclusion that it was given to the prophet by way of distinction to set him off from his fellowmen.

According to the theory of Maurice Vernes (Hist. des idees messianiques, 187 [1874]) 'son of man' is synonymous with 'prophet'. Fiebig thinks that it may have been more natural to use the longer form in the vocative. Already in the interpretation of the phrase in Ezekiel we meet with an emphatically low and an emphatically high estimate, a synthetic and an analytic judgment, an assumption that it is a title of office and an appeal to philology and literary criticism ; and there is an element of truth in each contention. There can be no question as to the general identity of 'son of man' and 'man'. It is also quite evident that 'son of man' cannot have been used by man as a title of a prophet. He might be referred to as ha-hozeh (ninrt) 'the seer', han-nabi (x 3:n) 'the speaker', ham-moreh (m7on) 'the oracle giver', ha-elohlm (ytt D - n|?X,l), 'the man of God', but not simply as 'the man'. The ordinary designations, however, would not be so suitable in the mouth of God and angels. By them the prophet would be either called by name (Am. 3:2, Dan. 9:22, 10:11-12), or addressed as a representative of the human race. In the latter case, the fact that celestial beings hold converse only with their chosen ones would naturally make the expression suggestive, not merely of inferiority of race, but also of special privilege. Its use would consequently express the prophet s self-consciousness as well as his humility. Dan. 8:17 shows that in some circles it was thought proper for the angelus interlocutor to address the prophets as 'human being' (C-JK p), when the name was not used.

The employment of this phrase by Ezekiel seems, then, to have arisen from the double feeling of humility and elation expressed in Ps. 8. Much of the repetition may be due solely to literary habit, and some instances to later imitation (see SCYTHIANS, 5).

3. Doubtful meaning in Taanith 65b.[edit]

The only apparent exception in Hebrew seems to be Talmud, Pal. Taanith 65b.

The passage contains the following comment on Nu. 23;19 by Abbahu (about 280 A.D.): 'If a man says "I am a god", he lies; (if he says) "I am a son of man", he will in the end regret it; (if he says) "I ascend to heaven"," he may say it, but he cannot accomplist it'. If the text is sound, the interpretation of Laible, Bacher, and Dalman is no doubt essentially correct. Abbahu, who was often in conflict with Christians, unquestionably refers to Jesus. He is not likely to have had in mind either Moses (Schwab) or the tower-builders (Rabbinic commentators, followed by Cohen in Lietzmann). Christians like Sason, who in their disputations with him seem to have used to some extent the Hebrew language, probably translated 6 nibs rov avBptuirov [o uios tou anthroopou] by ben ha-adam, as, in modern times, Delitzsch. It is supposed that the indefinite ben adam was suggested by Nu. 23:19, and that the context was depended on to indicate the reference. The real difficulty, however, is to understand why Abbahu should have regarded it as an assumption on the part of Jesus to call himself 'son of man', such as any man must in the end regret. It is not a question of Messianic titles and prerogatives. The Messiah is not a god, in Jewish theology, and does not ascend to heaven, nor is it improper for him, or any other man, to call himself a son of man, ben adam. The original may have read 'I am a man and I ascend to heaven', c OtfS nSlJ? 3X1 JX DIN J3, the words ]6. rnnn? lB7D being a misplaced gloss. Abbahu would, then, wittily allude to the self-designation of Jesus as a confession that he was not a god but a man, while emphasising thereby the enormity of his claim, inferred from Jn. 14:24 and Acts 1:9.

4. Aramaic Usage.[edit]

In Aramaic 'son of man' is used with great frequency as a synonym of 'man'.

i. Early inscriptions. - For the Assyrian and Persian periods we are wholly dependent upon inscriptions. These are often dated and represent a widespread territory : but they are for the most part very brief, and the vocabulary is limited. It is of comparatively small significance that the term son of man does not occur in them, since it is very seldom that any designation of man is found. But it is important that among the few instances c 3N occurs three times as a plural or collective - viz. C JX dpi .I T N D7p 'before gods and man' (Zenjirli, Panamu Stele, l. 23, eighth century), e JKl JH^Kl 'gods and men' (Teima, sixth century CIS 2 no. 113a l. 20), vn. i"3N 'seven men' (Kuyunjik, Oct. 680, CIS 2 no. 17).

2. Syriac. - Among the East Aramaic dialects (Syriac, Mandaic, Babylonian Talmudic) the expression is most common in Syriac. Even itf the Pesh. of OT is essentially a Jewish work, it cannot, in view of text and canon, be earlier than the first century A.D., and probably does not antedate the oldest Christian productions by more than fifty years. The fact that 'man' is rendered bar nasha in the OT rather less frequently than the original Syraic literature would cause one to expect is therefore likely to be due to the translators clinging as closely as possible to the Hebrew text, and not to any change in the common speech of Edessa. That nasha originally was a collective and virtually a plural is abundantly evident from the preponderating usage. The fact that in a translation from one dialect into another the Bibl. Aram. C ; 3N I3[s] of Dan. 7:13 was rendered J C JN 133 h % N] i" Syriac {1} shows that even the indefinite jj-JN gave the impression of being a collective. There are many in stances, however, where the Syriac KC-JX is used as a singular. That bar-nasha originally denoted the individual of the species man is perfectly clear from the collective meaning of Nt JN and the prevalent usage. It is the ordinary, though not the only, designation of man, the individual, and the emphatic ending N does not prevent it from meaning a 'man' as well as 'the men'. rX and L"3N "13 are both used for 'one', 'some one', 'any one', 'jemand', 'each'. In the version made by Paul of Telia in 618 ben adam is rendered by b'reh de-nasha in Nu. 23:19, Ezek. passim, Jer. 49:18 50:40 etc.; and by b'reh de-bar-nasha in Jer. 51:43, while bar-nasha is reserved for adam or enosh. This does not show that b'reh de-nasha, which never occurs in Pesh., was a natural Syriac translation of ben adam, but only that Paul of Telia, when he had already used bar-nasha for adam, availed himself of the form created as a terminus technicus of Christian theology (see section 13) for a synonym. That he should do so is neither more nor less strange than that he should employ the similar phrase b'reh de-bar-nasha. The same influence of the phrase constructed as a rendering of 6 vibs roO nrOpoiTrou [o uios tou anthroopou] is seen in the NT where Pesh. uses b'reh de-nasha even in Jn. 5:37, Heb. 2:6, Rev. 1:13, l4:14, though the Greek has only vib? ai ftpuiirov [uios anthroopou].

iii. Biblical use. - In Pesh. the Heb. ben adam is rendered bar-nasha everywhere except in Job 35:8. bar-nasha is the translation of adam in Ex. 13:13, 33:20, 1 S. 15:29, Is. 44:13, Jer. 2:6, 10:14, Ezek. 1:3, 1:10, 1:26, 10:8, 10:14, 28:29, Mal. 3:8, 1 Ch. 29:1, of enosh in Ps. 55:14, 66:11, 90:3, 103:3, 104:15, Job 15:14. 25:4, 32:8. But more frequently another word is chosen, such as nasha or b'ne nasha or gabra for enosh; adam or b'ne nasha or nasha for adm. It is interesting to observe that in Ecclus. the Heb. ish is rendered gabra, 14:2-3, 31:16, 36:20, 36:26; nasha 27:5; b'ne nasha 15:19. adam is rendered bar-nasha, 11:2, 13:15, 41:11 ; b'ne nasha, 15:17 ; and kol nasha 16:17; b'ne adam is rendered b'ne nasha 16:15, 40:1. Similarly in the Aramaic portions of OT., enasha is rendered bar-nasha in Dan 7:8; elsewhere enash by nash (Dan 2:10), IC JN ['NShY] (constr. plur. ; Ezra 4:11), kol-nash (Dan 3:10), nasha (Dan. 5:5 etc.); and anasha with b'ne nasha, Dan. 2:38, 6:21, or nasha, Dan. 4:29 [4:25].

In the NT the Evangeliarium Hier. uses the indeterminate bar-nash exclusively as a rendering of drfyxon-os [anthroopos] in Mt. 8:9, 19:6, Mk. 8:36-37, Lk. 7:8, 18:2, Jn. 3:37, 5:34, 7:22, 7:23a, 10:33, 11:50, 16:21 (Jn. 7:23a is not an exception as the construction demands the emphatic): {2} bar-nash only for o oi-flpcuTro? [o anthroopos] in Mt. 4:4, 12:35a, 12:35b, 26:24a, 26:24b, 26:74, Mk. 2:27a, 2:27b, Jn. 18:17, 18:29, 19:5; gabra in the sense of 'husband', Mt. 19:5, 19:10 (Mt. 1:16, Lk. 2:36, Jn. 4:16+), but also in Mt. 26:72 as a synonym of bar-nasha in 26:74; and nash with the meaning 'any one' in Mt. 19:3, 19:10 end. The exact use of the emphatic is all the more remarkable as gabra so rarely occurs, and this rare occurrence is itself peculiar in view of the fact that b'reh de-gabra is the ordinary rendering of 6 i/ib? TOU dr- Optoirov [o uios tou anthroopon]. In the Curetonian Fragments, bar-nasha is used indiscriminately for arOptantx; [anthroopos] and 6 drtfpioTro? [o anthroopos] in Mt. 4:4, 12:12, 12:43, 15:11a, 15:11b, 15:18, 15:20, 19:6, Lk. 9:25, Jn. 3:37, 5:34, 7:22, 7:23a, 7:23b, gabra for o tii tfpujTros [o anthroopos] in Mt. 8:9, 12:35a, 12:35b, 19:3, 19:5, 19:10, Lk. 23:4, 23:47; nash in Mt. 15:20 for 'one'. In the Sinaitic MS bar-nasha is likewise used without discrimination for di SpioTros [anthroopos] and 6 drflpioyros [o anthroopos] in Mt. 4:14, 12:12 (?), 12:43, 15:11a, 15:11b, 15:18, 15:20, 19:6, Mk. 8:36-37, 10:9, Lk. 18:2, Jn. 2:23, 3:27, 5:34, 7:22, 7:23b, 10:33; gabra for o a.i 6pu>iros [o anthroopos], Mt. 8:9, 12:35, 19:10, 19:35, Mk. 10:7, Lk. 4:4, 6:45, 7:8, Jn. 11:50, 18:17; bar-nasha, Jn. 7:23, and nash, Mt. 15:20, for 'one', jemand. In the Pesh. substantially the same condition prevails, as bar-nasha is used for di-0pcoTTO [anthroopos] in Mt. 12:12, 19:6, Mk. 8:36-37, Lk. 9:25, Jn. 3:27, 6:34, 7:23a, 10:33, 16:21, , even more frequently than for o a.i 6punro<; [o anthroopos] as in Mt. 4:4, 12:43, 15:11a, 15:11b, 15:18, 15:20, and gabra for drflpioiros [anthroopos] in Mt. 8:9, Lk. 7:8, Jn. 11:50 as well as for 6 arOpcon-os [o anthroopos], Mt. 12:35, 19:5, 19:10 Lk. 4:4, 6:45, Jn. 18:17, 18:29, 19:5, and nash has the sense of 'some one' in Mt. 19:3, Jn. 2:25a. In Mt. 16:13 oi difyxon-oi [oi anthroppoi] is rendered nasha by Pesh., Cur., and Sin., while the Ev. Hier. has b'ne nasha. To show that ndsd may be sing, and b'reh de-nasha a grammatical possibility, Driver quotes Job 7:20, 14:19, 33:16, Pesh., as precise formal parallels. Such passages as Ex. 31:14, Dt. 5:3, Is. 51:12, Job 25:6, Eccles. 7:28-29 are better examples of nasha as sing., since in the three cases quoted it seems to be a collective (Job 7:20, Syr. 'maker of the human race', Heb. D1NH 1i"U, 'watcher of mankind', LXX TU>< av6ptairu>v [toon anthroopoon]; 14:19, 'hope of the human race', Heb. tyijK nipn ; 33:16, 'ears of men', Heb. C C JX, LXX ai dpuintar [anthroopoon]). The construction of collective nouns with sg. suffixes is very common. In appearance the forms 'abodeh d'anasha (maker of man), zabreh d'anasha (hope of man), and edneh d'anasha (son of man); in reality there is a marked difference between them. While the former are perfectly clear and idiomatic expressions, the latter is artificial, vague, and ambiguous. It may be translated either 'son of the human race', or 'son of the human being'. But it is no more apparent what it means to be a 'son of the human race', in distinction from being a mere member of the human family (bar-nasha), than why a man's father should be emphatically described as 'the human being'. The form can be explained by the exigencies of theological thought (cp section 13), not by the laws of Aramaic speech.

iv. Mandaic. - In Mandaic KC KJK 13 occurs, Genza 1:207:22, in the sense of 'man'. Two plurals are found, KC IOK 33 and NrNJN n:a (formed as rtl3N, NnUHKax)- The late form K C NjnN3i plur. Asfar Malwashe, 298, shows how completely the first part of the word was lost to consciousness. C"3J, , 'a man', 'anyone', occurs only in status absolutus. But the most common expression for 'man' is m33- Cp No. Mand. Grain. 127, 148.

v. Babylonian and Talmudic. - In Babylonian Talmudic Nsmz was likewise used, though not so frequently as NtONi for 'man'.

vi. Judaean dialect. - Among the W. Aramaic dialects (Judean, Samaritan, Galihean, Nabataean) this idiomatic expression seems to have been less common in the S. than in the N. It does indeed occur as early as 165 B.C. in Dan. 7:13. For here ke-bar-enosh (c jN 13:) means 'like a human being'. Dalman thinks that this chapter has been translated from a Hebrew original which had C1X ]3. Even if that were so, the translator would not have chosen bar-nash in preference to bar adam, exclusively used by Onkelos, if, in the circles where he moved, bar-nash and bar-nasha were not more commonly used. For the plural he uses b'ne nasha, Dan. 2:38, 5:21, or anasha, 2:43, 4:16-17, 4:25, 4:32, 7:8; cp Ezra 4:11. enosh occurs only in the sense of a 'man', 5:5, 6:7, 6:12, 7, 4:14, 2:10, 3:10. The oldest Targums, ascribed to Onkelos and Jonathan, are written in the same Judaean dialect. As r:N 13 does not occur at all in Onkelos - ben adam being rendered bar-adam - and only in Is. 51:12, 56:2, Jer. 4:18, 4:33, 50:40, 51:43, Mic. 5:6 for ben adam in Jonathan, it is possible that the distinctive word for man, the individual, bar-nasha, was not in vogue, gabra, 'man, the male', and anasha, 'man, the race', 1 being employed also to denote the member of the human family. The fact that NC 3 N 33 occurs with greater frequency both in Onkelos and Jonathan may then show that the plural survived longer than the singular for the same reasons as in Hebrew. But the influence of a more extensive cultivation" of the ancient Hebrew tongue in Judaea, especially among those capable of acting as interpreters, should not be overlooked ; and it is quite likely that the common speech of the people was less affected by Hebraisms than the paraphrases would suggest.

vii. Samaritan. - In the Samaritan version of the Pentateuch NL"jl3 is found only in some manuscripts in Gen. 9:6 and Nu. 23:19. Since it occurs quite frequently in Markah (cp Fiebig, 17+), it is safe to infer that here also the influence of the original upon the learned translators renders the version less trustworthy in this respect as a witness to Samaritan usage.

viii. Galilaean dialect. - In regard to the Galilaean dialect we possess the simplest information. In the freedom of spontaneous utterance and repartee in the Palestinian Talmud the peculiarities of popular speech have a better chance of revealing themselves than in the translations, and the later Targums follow less closely the Hebrew than the earlier. Hut even when due weight is given to this fact, the extraordinary frequency of the idiom no doubt indicates a more extensive use on the part of the people of Galilee. Dalman is inclined to regard it as a comparatively late development under the influence of the Syriac, and thinks that a person in the first century A.D. using so strange an ex pression as bar-nasha then would not have been understood as speaking of 'man'. But Fiebig has shown that, not only did Hosha'ya, about 200 A.D., use K31 KC 313 [BRNSh' RB'] for 'a great man' (Shckalin 56), but Simeon b. Yochai, about 130-160 A.D. , used T313 [BRNSh] for 'man', 'der Mensch' (Berach. 1:5), and possibly also Simeon b. Gamaliel, his contemporary, if a certain saying has been preserved more accurately in Talm. Bab., Nedarim 54b, Me'ila 20b. The indifference to the emphatic state points to long usage even in the first part of the second century.

It is extremely difficult to believe that only three generations earlier an expression that had taken such deep roots, and is found in the literary remains of all Aramaic dialects, should not have been widely used in Galilee as an equivalent of JJ-JN or xt"N in the sing., and it is quite incredible that so natural and idiomatic a designation of the individual of the human race should not have been understood as man, but taken to be an esoteric expression. Mesopotamia and N. Syria were old centres of Aramaic speech, and it is therefore natural that the old term to denote a member of the human family should have maintained itself most strongly there. Of NC JNl H13 there is apparently no trace in the Galiaean dialect. It does not even occur in Christian testimony which may represent this dialect.

ix. The Nimrod legend in Bereshith rabba. - It is quite un necessary to resort to Babylonian mythology, as Fiebig is inclined todo, for an explanation of KITH ^ 3DT NC 313 (Ber. rabba. 38a, 47); Abraham no doubt intended to lead Nimrod on from the worship of man to that of God, as he had from the worship of the elements to that of man ; every man is a bearer of the breath of life, and no mysterious pregnant sense is demanded.

x. Nabataean. - Of the Nabatican nothing is known except through inscriptions. In these only e"HN ['NVSh] in the sense of 'one', 'some one', any one occurs. No inference can be drawn concerning the existence of c 313 or Ne 313- The use of this term in Aramaic has been treated with most comprehensiveness by Fiebig, with most Talmudic learning by Dalman, and with most insight by Wellhausen. An essentially correct understanding of it lies at the basis of the theory developed by Eerdmans, Schmidt, Meyer, and Lietzmann (see section 30).

1 Here and occasionally elsewhere in the article the Syriac has been transliterated into Hebrew for the sake of simplicity.

2 Lietzmann's statement (p. 83) that di"#pu>7ro TIS [anthroopos tis] is rendered inNC 313 in Lk. 5:20 is not correct. The Greek is di-flpajn-e [anthroope], and the Ev. has ^313, as the vocative is regularly indicated by the emphatic. .\i-0p<air6<; TIS ['Anthroopos tis] is rendered in C 3"13, Lk. 5:11.

5. Analogous forms in Assyrian, Ethiopic and Arabic.[edit]

In the Babylonian myth concerning Adapa and the S. wind (Recueil de trav. 20:4) the hero is addressed as Zir amiluti (3:12). Hommel (Exp. T, May 19, p 341) translates thls expression 'spring of mankind', explains it as 'he from whose seed the whole of mankind is sprung', and compares it with 6 vifa TOV avOpuirov [o uios tou anthroopon]. If this translation were possible, the phrase would have nothing in common with the Greek term or its Aramaic original. But it clearly means 'seed of men'; and as zeru in 2 R. 8648 is distinctly said to be a synonym of maru, 'son', zir amiluti is an exact equivalent of Ntt JN 13- [bar enosh]. Whatever his relation to Ea, Adapa is a mortal man, not a god, and is to be punished for his presumption. The idea that he is the first man is precluded by 16:11-12, 16:16. [Cp PARADISE, 12.]

Adapa's designation as mar Iridu - 'son [i.e., citizen] of Iridu' - (cp mar Batili, mar Barsip, mari Nina, mari mal Ashshur) shows that, like p [BN] and 13 [BR], maru was used to designate the member of a larger body. Delitzsch aptly compares mar ummani (pl.), 'an artist'; mar ikkari, 'a peasant'; mar ishpari, 'a weaver', with Heb. D H SM J3 ; mari nuni also means simply 'fishes', and mar itstsuri, 'a bird'.

The Ethiopic Bible renders 'son of man' by walda sab'e, walda be'esi, 'eguala 'emaheyau and walda 'eguala 'emaheyay. Of these terms walda sab'e is probably the most original. As sab'e is a collective and virtual plural, walda sab'e exactly corresponds to N^ JN13 ll [BR'NShY]. Walda be'esi = filius viri is the equivalent of N13J 13, but, like X13J, be'esi is also used for 'man', 'der Mensch'. Our ignorance of rhe native mythology renders it impossible to decide whether in 'eguala 'emaheyau = proles matris vivi, the reference to Eve is original, and the expression consequently of Jewish or Christian origin, or some other mother, human or divine, is intended. It is often used collectively for oi ai dptuiroi [oi anthroopoi], oi viol riav avOpiairiav [oi uioi toon anthroopoon], NtI 3N 33- ll. Walda 'eguala 'emaheyau , 'son of the offspring of the mother of the living', is apparently a Christian term made substantially on the same pattern and for the same reason as KC JT31 m3. It was exclusively used for 6 uibs TOV avSpianov [o uios tou anthroopou] in the NT, and by reminiscence or interpretation found its way into passages having only uibs avQpunrov [uios anthroopon] such as Jn. 5:27, Heb. 2:6, Rev. 1:13, 14:14 and also Ps. 80:18, Dan. 7:13, Ezek. 2:1 and throughout the book, and Enoch 37-71 passim (see section 7).

In the Arabic version 'son of man' is most frequently rendered ibnu'l insani both in OT and NT. Sometimes ibnu insani occurs, Is. 51:12, and in Ps. 146:3 DIN p is rendered bani bashari. In the NT ibnu'l bashari occurs frequently (see section 13). Basharu is a collective and plural, but used for 'man', the individual, as well as for 'man', the race.

1 Lengerke, Ewald, Knobel, Hilgenfeld, Rleek, S. Davidson, Riehm, Orelli, Dilhnann, Behrmann, Jul. Boehmer.

6. Dan 7:13.[edit]

Dan. 7:13 is the earliest passage in Aramaic literature where the term 'son of man' occurs. One 'like a human being' (kebar enash, pjRiaa) appears before the Ancient of Days and receives the empire of the world. The Messianic interpretation of this passage meets us as early as in the first century A.D. in Enoch 37-71 (see 7) and 4 Ezra (see 8). The evangelists apparently understood it as referring to the Messiah (cp especially Mt. 26:64, Mk. 14:62), and the natural impression of the Greek gospels is that Jesus himself shared this view. It consequently prevailed in the church. Through the influence of Akiba, Joshua b. Levi, and Shemuel b. Nahman, it also gained the ascendancy in the synagogue. On critical grounds it has been accepted by a number of modern scholars. 1 Its strength lies in the fact that it recognises the presence in this passage of a well-known concrete personality. But it utterly fails to explain how the Messiah, once introduced, can have dropped so completely out of the author's thought, not only in the explanation of the vision where he is unceremoniously ignored, but also in the future deliverance with which Michael has much to do but the Messiah nothing. A non-Messianic interpretation appears already in Enoch 71 (see 8), where Enoch is evidently understood as being the 'son of man' of Daniel's vision. Ibn Ezra interpreted bar-enash as referring to the people of Israel. In modern times this view has been maintained by many scholars. 1 Yet a symbolic representation of 'a more humane regime', 'ein Menschheitsideal' savours more of modern humanitarian ideas than of the concrete conceptions of Semitic antiquity.

The present writer (JBL 19, 1900) was led by these difficulties to regard the manlike being as an angel, and more particularly Michael, the guardian-angel of Israel. He pointed out that angels are constantly introduced as having the appearance of men ; 2 that the only angelic representative of Israel is Michael ( 'your prince', c2anb, Dan. 10:21, 12:1); and that his coming with the clouds after the destruction of the beasts, in view of 4 Ezra 13:1, Apoc. Elijah 14:20, 15:1, may show that the battle with chaos-monsters had already been transferred from Yahwe to Michael. This view has been accepted by Porter (Hastings, DB 4:260), who also suggests the demonic character of the beasts. The objection that one would expect the heathen nations to be likewise represented by their angel princes is met partly by the traditional form of the appropriated Marduk myth, partly by a lingering respect for these angelic dignitaries who are the former gods of the nations. Chaos-monsters may be consumed by fire, but angels are not slain. That the one like a man is neither the Messiah nor a mere symbol of Israel has independently been argued by Grill (Untersuch. uber die Entst. des Vierten Evang. 50+ [1902]), who also thinks of Michael, but is inclined to look for a still higher being whose name is significantly withheld, like that of the numen of PENUEL (q.v.), at the same time a 'most exalted personal intermediary between God and the world and a transcendant prototype of the God-pleasing humanity ultimately to be realised in the people of the Most High'. The first part of this definition suits Michael; whether he or any other angel was ever thought of as the ideal Israelite, is more doubtful.

Volter (ZNTW, 1902, p. 173-174) has also abandoned the hitherto prevailing views and suggested that the celestial being is none else than the Mazdayasnian Hshathra vairiya, one of the Amesha spentas who is a personification of the kingdom of heaven. But apart from the uncertainty as to the date of the Avestan documents, Daniel s man-like being is a representative not of the heavenly kingdom, but of Israel.

1 Hofmann, Hitzig, Wittichen, Colani, Kuenen, Straton, Keim, Vernes, Smend, Toy, Marti, Meinhold, Bevan, Reville,Dalman, Schurer, Gunkel, Wellhausen, Lietzmann, Charles, Prince, Driver, Curtis, Hahn.

2 133 rtN-103, Dan. 8:15; DIN 33 TIDIS. Dan. 10i6; HN1D3 C1N, Dan. 10:18 ; p-nj, Dan. 3:25; 7,S""n;i E"Nn, Dan. 9:2, cp 10:5, 12:6-7; ofioioi v iov ai 6pu>irov [homoion nion anthroopou], Rev. 14:14 [see 9], 'like white men', Enoch 87:2.

7. Enoch. 37-71.[edit]

Another originally Aramaic book (so rightly Schurer, Levi, We. ) in which the term 'son of man' occurs is Enoch 37-71. It is known to us only through an Ethiopic translation. That a Greek version even of this part of the Enoch literature once existed may be inferred from Tertullian (de cultu feminarum, 13); but whether the Ethiopic translation was made from it, is uncertain. According to Bruce (in Laurence, Libri Enoch Proph. Vers. Aethiop. 11 [1838]) 'the Jews in Abyssinia admit it into their Canon ; it is not, however, the Book of Enoch received amongst the Rabbins'. The first Ethiopic version may therefore have been made by a Jew from the Aramaic. This would account for a numlier of Aramaisms not so likely to pass through the medium of a Greek translation. See APOCALYPTIC, 30.

That the text has suffered numerous interpolations is universally admitted. A series of these were apparently taken from a lost Apocalypse of Noah. Already Laurence perceived some of them ; Kostlin (Th. Jahrb. 1856, p. 240+) recognised those that most certainly have this origin, 54:1-55:2, 60, 65:1-69:25. Tidemann (Th. T., 1875, p. 261+) conjectured that 41:3-9, 43, 44, 59 were drawn from the same source, and Charles has adopted this view.

Bruno bauer (Kritik d. Gesch. 1402 [1841]) first called attention to the now generally recognised secondary character of 70, 71, and suggested that the 'Son of Man' passages were interpolated. Hilgenfeld (Jud. Apokalyptic, 162+ (1857)) presented the only natural interpretation of 67:4-13 by which the Noachic interpolations are found to be later than 79 A.D., and the most probable explanation of 56:1+. which apparently makes the original work later than Nero. His view that the book was essentially the work of a Gnostic Christian was accepted by many scholars. The objection that one would expect more distinctive Christian teaching was met in part by a reference to the Enochian masque, in part by emphasis upon the important Christian ideas found in the book.

Drummond, however, showed in a convincing manner, that the Messianic passages were out of harmony both with the title and with the contents in each figurative address, and that their removal rendered the discourses far more intelligible {The Jewish Messiah, p. 48+ [1877]).

This argument was further elaborated by Pfleiderer (Urchrist., 312+ [1887]). A similar view was independently presented by Bousset (Jesu Predigt, 106 [1892]). But Drummond's theory failed to explain how any man could have written chap. 71 either before or after these interpolations were made, and also why a Christian in terpolator should not have used the title walda 'eguala 'emaheyau exclusively as it is in the NT. 71:1-16 can be accounted for only on the assumption that the text preceding it somewhere made an allusion to a man who has righteousness, yet in such a manner as to render it possible to regard Enoch as the man intended. This precludes the possibility of any passage containing the peculiar Christian phrase 'son of the offspring of the mother of the living' (62:7, 62:9, 62:14, 63:11, 66:25-26, 70:1) having been a part of the text to which 71:1-16 was added. It is among the passages in which son of man is rendered walda seb'e (46:2+, 48:2, 60:10) or w. be'eshi (62:5, 69:29a, 69:29b) that such an allusion must be sought. In 60:10 the author of the Noachian fragments used bar-nasha or ben-adam precisely as it is used in Ezek.

It is difficult to think through chap. 40 in the Aramaic without obtaining the impression that the Ethiopia is a direct translation of the original. 'I saw one like a man' ; 'I asked in regard to that man'; 'he answered : this is the man who has righteousness'; 'this man whom thou hast seen will arouse the kings'. The use of the demonstrative (in KC pia) is evidently in good order. On the theory of a translation from the Greek, the present writer and subsequently Charles pointed out the use of the demonstrative for the missing article in the Ethiopic, permitting the assumption that the Greek had everywhere simply 6 uibs ToO ai &puinov [o uios tou anthroopou]. But Flemming (in Lietzmann, PHM) has rightly called attention to the fact that in the NT walda 'eguala 'emaheyau is never preceded by a demonstrative. Walda Seb'e is as admirable a reading of bar-nasha in 46:2+ as in 60:10. Even in 48:2, 'in that hour that man was named (i.e., 'called') before (Aramaic for 'by') the Lord of Spirits', the use is natural.

The scene in 40 is reminiscent of Dan. 7. As Daniel's manlike being was not mentioned by name, he might be an angel like Michael, a translated hero like Enoch, a true descendant of David snatched up to heaven and preserved for the day of his appearance, or a Christianised pre-existent Messiah. The present description no doubt suggests to us the Messiah ; but it is quite possible that in an earlier form of it the man who walked with God, revealed hidden secrets and achieved victories, pointed as clearly to Enoch, the vision being (rightly or wrongly) ascribed, like others in the book, to Noah. That walda be'esi, if original, could be used in the same sense as walda seb'e is evident from 71:14 which refers back to 40:2. In 62:5 all MSS except the oldest read w. be'esith, 'son of woman'; in 69:29 the oldest manuscript has the same form. This shows that Christian copyists tam|x. red with the text from theological motives, the dogmatic interest being here the same as that which crowded b'reh de-gabra. (tfc\yy\ ma) out of use. These MSS themselves are probably Christian interpolations, as is, undoubtedly, 71:17 (cp Schmidt, art. Enoch in Jewish Ency. ; Son of Man, ch. 7 ; AJTh. 7).

In the original discourses the term consequently never seems to have occurred. It is found in one of the Noachic interpolations in the sense of 'man' as a rendering of bar-nasha. In 46:2+, and 48:2 which may have belonged to the same early stratum of insertions, it has no other meaning. At these points Christian interpolations appear to have attached themselves. Where in the rest of the book these are most manifest, the distinctive NT title is employed.

8. 4 Ezra 13:3+.[edit]

In the Apocalypse of Ezra 13:3+. the seer beholds one like a man (quasi similitudinem hominis) coming out of the sea (de corde marts) with the clouds of heaven, refers to him again as that man (ille homo) and simply 'the man' (homo), and receives the interpretation that this is the man through whom the Most High will redeem creation. We do not possess the original ; but the extant versions (Lat. , Syr., Eth. , Arm.) all seem to come from the lost Greek translation. As the author evidently has Dan. 7:13 in mind, the original probably had ben-enash and bar-nasha which may have been rendered correctly dvOpuirot [anthroopos] and 6 dvtipuiros [o anthroopos] in the Greek. The connection shows that there can be no question of 'man' or 'the man' being a title. Though the term 'Messiah' is not mentioned, there can be little doubt that the Messiah is intended. Retouching by Christian hands may Ije observed in all the versions. But the book, written in the reign of Domitian, probably shows the most transcendental conception of the Messiah found in Jewish thought. All the more significant is it that the final judgment is not one of his functions. In 6:1 the true text is preserved by Lat. , Arm., 'through a man' being a Christian addition in Syr. Eth. Ar. , as Hilgenfeld has shown (Messias Jud. 54n. )

9. Revelation.[edit]

The Christian parts of the Apocalypse of John contain two passages, 1:13 and 14:14, where the phrase o/xotov vi6 *>P?" [homoion uion anthroopou] 'like a son of man' occurs. It is the exact equivalent of ke-bar-enash and the author no doubt had in mind Dan. 7:13. In the first place it is unquestionably the celestial glory of Jesus that is described with colours largely borrowed by Ezekiel. As 14:15 introduces 'another angel', the impression is that the manlike being of 14:14 is also an angel. That this angel has a crown upon his head does not show that he is the Messiah. The angel of Sardis (3:11), the celestial presbyters (4:4, 4:10), the angel represented as a white horse (6:2), and the horse-like locusts (9:7), also wear crowns, and the angels are the harvesters in Mt. 13:41. It is of utmost importance that this work, written substantially at the close of the first century (APOCALYPSE, $ 35, col. 207), though with later additions, knows nothing about the title 6 t ios TOU dvffpuTrov [o uios tou anthroopou].

10. NT Epistles.[edit]

The term 6 w6s TO? dvOpuirov [o uios tou anthroopou] is not found in any of the fourteen epistles ascribed to Paul; in 1 or 2 Pet., 1, 2, or 3 Jn., James, or Jude. Its absence in this entire literature representing different lands, periods, and tendencies of thought can scarcely be accidental. It may not prove that all the authors were unacquainted with the term. As it is used in the Fourth Gospel, the reason for its non-occurrence in 1, 2, 3 Jn. may be that there was no occasion for using it. On the other hand, if Jude had found it everywhere in his copy of Enoch as a Messianic title, and known of it as the self-designation of Jesus, he is quite likely to have referred to it.

In Heb. 2:6, Ps. 8:5-7 is quoted as referring to Jesus. The author sets forth the inferiority of a revelation indicated through angels, and argues from the Psalm that the world to come was to be subject not to angels but to one who had been made for a little while lower than the angels (LXX).

The same reference of the passage to Jesus is seen in 1 Cor. 15:27, Heb. 2:9 clearly indicates the underlying question: Of whom does the prophet speak, of man in general, or of some particular man? The answer was found in v. 6. He spoke of one who had been made for a little while (/Spo^i n [brachu ti]) lower than the angels to be afterwards made ruler of all things. This could only apply to Jesus. The author of 1 Cor. 15:45+ designates the Christ as 6 texaros A5dM [o eschatos 'adam], 6 5ei Tepor dvftpwTros [o deuteros anthroopos], 6 di tfpwiros e ovpavov [o anthroopos ex ouranou]. Thus he evidently strives to express the ideal, supernal humanity of Jesus. Yet it never seems to have occurred to him to use for this purpose the common synoptic title, nor the mere term 6 dvtJpwros [o anthroopos], or an equivalent, without a modifying adjective or adverbial expression.

The most natural explanation is certainly that it was not known to him.

As an alternative the possibility was suggested in JBL 1636 that he may have regarded it as an inadequate characterisation of that heavenly man who was no longer to be known according to the flesh ; but such disregard was deemed incompatible with a knowledge on his part of this as the one Messianic title used by Jesus. Schmiedel (Prof. Monatsch. 1898, pp. 260+, 1901, pp. 342+) thinks that he may have hesitated to present to Greek readers a term which, unlike the Jews, they would not have understood as a synonym of 'man' but literally as 'the son of the man'. Such considerations do not seem to have influenced the earliest translators (cp section 36) ; if they were seriously entertained by himself, it is difficult lo see how he could have allowed the objectionable phrase to run its course wherever the evangelical tradition went without an explanation.

11. Acts 7:56.[edit]

Apart from the gospels, Acts 7:56 is the only passage in NT where 6 uids rov avOpuwov [o uios tou anthropou] occurs. Whether it comes from the Author to Theophilus or represents a real utterance of Stephen [see STEPHEN, 7], it shows that there were some Christians who did not reverently shrink from the use of what in the gospels is the exclusive self-designation of Jesus, nor hesitate to employ it lest it be misunderstood by Greek-speaking people. The author manifestly takes for granted that the excited populace must recognise in the phrase a designation of Jesus and not merely a Messianic title. What is deemed blasphemy is not that he claims to see the Messiah on the right hand of God, for that is his place, but that he claims to behold the murdered Jesus in the Messiah's place. If the statement is historical, Stephen may have said in Aramaic: 'I see bar-nasha', i.e., 'a man', or 'the man', intending to continue his sentence, or referring to the righteous man with whose death he had just charged the people. But it may be a free imitation of Lk. 22:69.

12. Occurrences in Gospels.[edit]

The term 6 wdy rov avOpuirov [o uios tou anthropou] occurs in the gospels eighty-one times - viz. fourteen times in Mk. thirty in Mt., twenty-five in Lk., and twelve in Jn.

The references are as follows-:

  • Mk. 2:10, 2:28, 8:31, 8:38, 9:9, 9:12, 9:31, 10:33, 10:45, 13:26, 14:21a, 14:21b, 14:41, 14:62;
  • Mt. 8:20, 9:6, 10:23, 11:19, 12:8, 12:32, 12:40, 13:37, 13:41, 16:13, 16:27-28, 17:9, 17:12, 17:22, 19:28, 20:18, 20:28, 24:27, 24:30a, 24:30b, 24:37, 24:39, 24:44, 25:31, 26:2, 26:24a, 26:24b, 26:45, 26:64;
  • Lk. 5:24, 6:5, 6:22, 7:34, 9:22, 9:26, 9:44, 9:58, 11:30, 12:8, 12:10, 12:40, 17:22, 17:24, 17:26, 17:30, 18:8, 18:31, 19:10, 21:27, 21:36, 22:22, 22:48, 22:69, 24:7;
  • Jn. 1:51, 3:13-14, (5:27), 6:27, 6:53, 6:62, 8:28, 9:35, 12:23, 12:34a, 12:34b, 13:31.

Mt. 18:11 (= Lk. 19:10), 25:13, and Lk. 9:56b (= Lk. 19:10) TR are rightly obelised by critical editors. The sixty-nine Synoptic passages clearly do not represent as many distinct utterances. My removing the most obvious parallels, Holsten and Oort leave forty-two, Mangold and Driver forty. In any such arrangement there is much exercise of subjective judgment, since passages in the different gospels that are not absolutely alike are regarded as identical, while exact parallels in the same gospel may or may not be considered as duplicates. As it is of some importance to know which of these occur in all three, in two, or only in one of the gospels, the following arrangement may be made for convenience sake, involving no judgment as to the number of times, or separate occasions, when the evangelists considered Jesus as having used the expression.

Eight in Mk., Mt., and Lk. :

Mk. Mt. Lk.
1 2:10 9:6 5:24
2 2:28 12:8 6:5
3 8:38 16:27 9:26
4 9:31 17:22a 9:44
5 10:33 20:18 18:31
6 13:26 24:30b 21:27
7 14:21 26:24a 22:22
8 14:62 26:64 22:69

Five in Mk. and Mt.:

Mk. Mt.
9 9:9 17:9
10 9:12 17:12
11 10:45 20:28
12 14:21b 26:24b
13 14:41 26:45

Eight in Mt. and Lk.:

Mt. Lk.
14 8:20 9:58
15 11:19 7:34
16 12:32 12:10a
17 12:40 11:30
18 24:27 17:24
19 24:37 17:26
20 24:39 17:30
21 24:44 12:40

One in Mk. and Lk. :

Mk. Lk.
22 8:31 9:22

Nine in Mt. alone :

23 10:23
24 13:37
25 13:41
26 16:13
27 16:28
28 19:28
29 24:30a
30 25:31
31 26:2

Eight in Lk alone :

32 6:22
33 12:8
34 17:22
35 18:8
36 19:10
37 21:36
38 22:48
39 24:7

13. Rendering in the Ancient Versions.[edit]

The earliest Aramaic translation of the Gospels, the Sinaitic Syriac, renders 6 uib? rov avOpiawov [o uios tou anthroopou] by b'reh de-gabra (,113 xn3:n) in Mk. 8:38, Lk. 7:34, and Jn. 13:31; in Lk. 11:30 and Jn. 12:23 only b'reh (m7a) is left; in all other extant passages b'reh de-nasha (s-cOiS l ma) seems to have been used. 1

The Curetonian fragments have jnajl ma [b'reh de gabra] in Lk. 7:34, 9:26, 22:48, elsewhere Nf^xi ma- [b'reh de nasha]

In the Evangeliarium Hierosolymitanum the phrase is rendered N-QJT ma [b'reh de-gabra] in Mt. 9:5, 12:32, 16:13, 17:9, 17:12, 17:22, 19:28, 24:27, 24:30a, 24:37, 24:39, Lk. 5:24, 6:5, 6:22, 9:58, 11:30, 12:4, 12:8, 12:10a, 19:10, 24:7, Jn. 3:13-14, 6:27, 6:53, 6:62 bis, 8:28, 13:31: xc nan ma (b'reh de-bar-nasha) in Mt. 24:30b, 24:44, 25:31, 26:2, 26:24a, 24:24b, 26:45, 26:64, Mk. 2:10, 8:31, 8:38, 9:31, 10:33, Lk. 21:27, 21:36, 22:22, Jn. 1:51, 12:23, 12:34 bis.

Only in the Pesh. is 6 vios rov avOpuwov [o uios ton anthroopou] uniformly rendered b'reh de-nasha. Driver's statement (Hastings, DB 4:582) that in the Sin., Curet. , and Pesh. the term is always represented by b'reh de-nasha is incorrect. The occurence of b'reh de-gabra in Lk. 7:34 (Sin. , Cur. ), Mk. 8:38 (Sin., Ev. ) and the identical Lk. 9:26 (Cur.), Lk. 22:48 (Cur.) and Jn. 13:31 (Sin., Ev. ) is not without its importance. It suggests that in the case of some sayings b'reh de-gabra had so established itself in common usage that even translators who, for dogmatic reasons, preferred b'reh de-nasha were influenced by it. It is evident that b'reh de-bar-nasha is a creation of Christian theology designed to avoid misconstruction of 'reh de-gabra. Originally the latter was no doubt intended to mean simply filius hominis; but the root idea (filius viri) could not fail to be embarrassing to the dogma that Jesus was not the son of a man. Its use by Paul of Telia (see 4) shows that the substitute was not unknown among the Christians of Mesopotamia. Cureton explained that his translator 'was not accurately acquainted with the Greek language, and therefore translated . . . filius viri not hominis' (Remains, p. 3). But the Greek phrase, which is everywhere the same, could not have troubled him, and he knew his own language. If, in some places, he used what he must have regarded as a synonym, the reason is probably to be looked for in tradition.

It is significant that b'reh de-nasha never occurs in the Palestinian lectionary, and that in Mt. and Lk. b'reh de-gabra maintained itself everywhere except in Mt. 24-26 and Lk. 21-22. So completely has the consciousness of the element 'son' in Son of Man disappeared that 'son of the son of man' meant only 'son of man'. Possibly the introduction of the new phrase in the synoptic apocalypse (see section 41) and in certain typical sayings is reminiscent of an earlier Aramaic version having only bar-nasha. The Edessene translators could not render the Greek phrase by bar-nasha since this would have taken no account of the articles. As the idea was new, no extant expression could be used, and any term would be open to misapprehension. The form apparently first chosen, b'reh de-gabra, might be understood as the son of some particular man, but gabrd had the advantage of being a singular. In the end the objection that it might be taken to imply that Jesus had a human father proved more serious, and the phrase seems gradually to have been crowded out of use until the officially recognised version had no other form than b'reh de-nasha. 'Son of the human being', might be interpreted 'son of Mary'.

The earliest Arabic version was probably made from some Aramaic translation. It is not likely, however, that this was the Peshita, as it would then undoubtedly render b'reh de-nasha everywhere with the same phrase. But in Mt. 9:6, 16:13, Lk. 9:58, 17:24, 17:26, 19:10, Jn. 1:51, 3:13-14, 6:27, 6:53 6:62, 8:28 it uses the term ibnu 'I bashari, while elsewhere the rendering is ibnu 'I inshani. Basharu is a collective, but is frequently used as a sg., and ibnu 'I bashari is not improbably a rendering of b'reh de-gabra.

The Ethiopia everywhere translates the Greek term walda 'eguala 'emaheyau, never expressing the article by a demonstrative zeeka or zentu. With the same uniformity the Latin versions render filius hominis.

1 MC JXI KT37I Lk. 22:48, is either a scribal error or NU JNT is a later addition ; NC JNI, Jn. 6:27, was no doubt preceded by rp3-


14. Patristic and mediaeval interpretation.[edit]

On the relation of Marcion and other Gnostics to the Synoptic title see section 43-44. It cannot safely be maintained that it was unknown to all of the 'apostolic fathers'.

The most natural interpretation of Barn. 2:10 is that the author alludes to it when, having found in an interpolated text of Ex. 17:14 a reference to the son of God, he declares that Jesus is prefigured in it 'not as son of man, but as son of God'. The inference may be drawn that about 130 A.D. the title was known in some circles and understood as designating the human nature assumed by the Son of God. In a later addition to the Ignatian epistle to the Ephesians 20:2 the title is found (TU> viol av9punrov [too uioo anthroopou]), apparently interpreted as referring to Jesus' descent from David. Justin (Dial, 100) explained the title as referring to Jesus descent through Mary from David, Jacob, Isaac, and Abraham. Irenaeus (Haer. 3:19) understood it to denote that Jesus was the son of Mary 'quae et ipsa erat homo', and Tertullian strongly argued the impossibility of any other interpretation (adv. Marc. 4:10). Origen, on the contrary, regarded it as unnecessary to seek for a particular human being, since the expression simply meant 'man' and was chosen by Jesus from pedagogic motives, as when God is represented as a man (Migne, 13:15, 13:37).

Even in Greek the member of a body was sometimes indicated by vios [uios], as in inTr)S yepovcriai; [uios tes gerousias], ui TTJS jroAews [uios tes poleoos], vi. ToO Sr/fiov [uios tou demou], vi. .\<}>po!>uTie<av [uios 'aphrodisieoon] (cp Deissmann, Bibelstudien, 1:166), and uios avOptanov [anthroopou] was frequently found in parallelism with arOpcon-os [anthroopos]in the LXX. So profound a student of these versions as Origen may therefore have rightly understood the idiom.

Theodoret introduces the Hebrew and Aramaic usage to account for certain phrases compounded with t tos [uios] or 6vya.Ti)p [thyrater] in LXX; he may have applied the same principle to this case. Chrysostom certainly regards the term as simply designating 'man' in Jn. 5:27 (Migne, 59:223). That seems also substantially to have been the view of Augustine (Contra Arian. 18). It is possible that Cyprian's comparison of Mt. 12:32 with 1 S. 2:25, and inference that the church cannot forgive sins against God, indicates that he understood filius hominis to designate 'man' in a generic sense in some passages, as Lietzmann has suggested (p. 80). Jerome was not prevented by his knowledge of Hebrew from identifying 'the human being' as the virgin Mary (Com. in Ps. 85) ; and this continued to be a common interpretation. Euthymius Zigabenus (about 100 A.D.) explains that avOpuwos [anthroopos] may mean yvvr [gyne]) as well as dvijp [aner] (Migne, 129:293), and Alexander of Jumege (d. 1209) only regrets the difficulty of rendering in French a title which is identical so far as the meaning is concerned, but not grammatically, with filius virginis. In the first German translation it was indeed translated sun der maid (Codex Teplensis and three earliest editions), and the Romance version of the Waldenses had filh de la vergene. Nicolaus de Lyra understood Mt. 128 to affirm that blasphemy against Christ's humanity is not as unpardonable as that against his divinity, and Mt. 16:13 to be a confession on his part of the humble fact of his humanity while his disciples understand it of his divinity (Biblia Sacra, 1588, vol. 2). A curious comment on 'men' in Mt. 16:13 is 'homines sunt qui de filio hominis loquuntur, Dii enim qui deitatem intelligunt'.

15. Resort to the Hebrew?[edit]


With the renaissance of learning, the first attempts at a philological explanation appeared. Genebrord, a noted Hebraist, commenting on Mt. 12:32, declared that 'son of man' meant simply 'man' and, returning to Cyprian's suggestion, saw in Eli's words (1 S. 2:25) an expression of the same sentiment. Sins against men may be pardoned, but not sins against God {De S. Trinitate, 1569). Flacius Illyricus defined filius hominis as unus qiuspiam homo (Clavis, sub voce 'filius'). Beza regarded the expression as a Hebrew phrase for man, and suggested the Hebrews' custom of speaking of themselves in the third person, but also called attention to the fact that in the gospels no one except Jesus does so. It is the merit of Grotius to have first recognised that in Mt. 128 the conclusion must be, 'Therefore man is lord also of the sabbath'.

Pointing to Mk. 2:28 as exhibiting the more original connection he conclusively showed that the argument would have no cogency if the Son of man were interpreted as the Messiah, and could not have been understood, since at the time Jesus had neither declared himself to be the Messiah nor been willing to have his disciples proclaim him as such. In regard to Mt. 12:32 he came to the same conclusion as Genebrord ; but he refrained from attempting an explanation of any other passages on the same principle (Crit. Sac. 6:445-446).

1 Genebrord, Flaccus, Beza, Grotius.

16. Substitute for personal pronoun?.[edit]

The discovery that upon two occasions Jesus spoke, not of himself, but of man in general, when employing this phrase, naturally seemed less important than the conjecture that he constantly used 'the man', in the sense of 'this man', for the personal pronoun. The latter was maintained by Coccejus (Schol. in Mt. 8:20), and found its way into the first life of Jesus by Hess (1:160, 1:261, 1:269). Bolten's criticism was important because through it a third passage (Mt. 9:6) was added to the two of Grotius, and the Aramaic term bar-nasha was brought into the discussion (Der Bericht d. Matth. 1792).

He called attention to the Syriac use of b'reh de-nasha with no more force than that of an indefinite pronoun, found it strange that the Greek translator should have failed to take note of this Aramaism, and boldly maintained that in Mt. 24:27 Jesus said. 'So will be the appearance of some one', meaning by 'some one' himself.

In regard to all passages except Mt. 9:6, 12:8, Paulus returned to the opinion of Coccejus ('hic homo pro ego'), pointed out the importance of Jn. 12:34, and suggested a later misapprehension under the influence of Dan. 7:13 (Exeg. Hdbuch, 1:465, 1:500, 2:21-22). Kuinoel accepted the interpretation given by Grotius of Mt. 12:8 and, in spite of the well-founded warning of Eichhorn (Allg. Bibl. 524 [1794]), followed Beza and Bolton in Mt. 10:23 (Com. 295, 337(1823]). The impossibility of the latter explanation led Fritzsche, who in general agreed with Paulus, to the view that Mt. 10:23 and other passages were later additions (Com. in ev. Matth. 320). The theory which assumed that Jesus habitually used an indefinite pronoun or a phrase like 'the man', accompanied by a gesture indicating himself, was too artificial to command respect, and in the general reaction against the rationalistic school, the real achievements of these earlier scholars were completely forgotten.

1 Coccejus, Hess, Bolten, Paulus, Fritzsche.

17. Ideal man?[edit]

When Herder (Chr. Schriften, [1796] 2:64) explained the term as designating the ideal humanity of Jesus, he gave a new form to the idea that it was intended to teach the human nature of the Christ. But in this modernisation the contrast with the divine nature of the Christ was lost, and an emphatically high conception was the result. Through Schleiermacher (Rinl. 479+) and Neander (Leben Jesu, 129+) this view gained a wide recognition.

It was adopted among others by Bohme, Olshausen, Lutz, Reuss, and Luthardt, has more recently been defended by Westcott and Stanton, and influenced Weisse, Holtzmann, Beyschlag, Hase, Keim, Mangold, Usteri, and Bruckner.

18. Coming man?[edit]

Hofmann (Schriftbeweis, 2:2:53) could find in the phrase no allusion to an ideal of humanity, but regarded it as substantially synonymous with ' he that cometh' Q,,^^ <; ^^o/uevos [o erchomenos], containing no indication of character. Cremer ( Worterbuch (5) 846+) similarly saw in it a reference to the man promised in the protevangel, Gen. 8:15.

19. Current Messianic title?[edit]

Already Scholten (Specimen, 1809) interpreted the term as a title of the Messiah, the heavenly king destined to reign as man over men. Strauss (Leben Jesu, 463 [1835] expressed the opinion that the son of man was one of the current Messianic titles. V. Colin (Bibl. Th. 216 [1836]) agreed with him. Ewald (Gesch. Christus, 202 [1855]) pointed to Dan. and En. 37-71, which he regarded as the oldest part of the book, as evidence.

Renan ( Vie de Jesus, 131= [1863]) maintained that in certain schools it was a title of the Messiah as judge of the world and king of the age to come. Beyschlag (Christologie, 9+ [1866]) held that it was a Messianic title in Dan. 7:13, En. 46:2+, and all passages in the gospels, and that Jesus chose this particular title both to express his consciousness of being a man and his knowledge of the fact that he was the ideal, absolute, and heavenly man. Baldensperger (Selbstbewusstsein Jesu (2), 169+ [1892]) likewise affirmed that the phrase was used before the time of Jesus as a Messianic title and was adopted by him as such, not, however, before the episode at Caesarea Philippi, the earlier passages having been displaced.

20. Expression of a peculiar Messianic consciousness?[edit]

That Jesus employed the term to express his own peculiar Messianic consciousness has been the conviction of many scholars. But there has been much difference of opinion as to his reason for selecting it, and in regard to its origin while some investigators endeavoured to discover its meaning by an analysis of all passages, and by connecting the various predicates with the idea of man, others discerned in it only a designation of office without immediate connection with the root idea, and in the predicates saw synthetic judgments. The majority of critics found its origin in Dan. 7:13. Others, however, thought of Ezek. , Ps. 8 or En. 46, while a few regarded it as an absolutely new creation of Jesus. One source was deemed sufficient by some students ; by others the conception was looked upon as the result of various combinations. As to the motive for its employment, there were those who thought that it was chosen openly to proclaim a different Messianic title from that suggested by such titles as 'Son of David' and 'SON OF GOD' (q.v.}. But many scholars urged that such a public announcement was improb able at least in the earlier part of Jesus ministry, and that he is more likely to have used it as a riddle to be guessed at, half revealing, half concealing his notion of the Messiah and his own claims. The various theories were largely dependent upon different interpretations of passages in OT and the Pseudepigrapha, the priority ascribed to Mt. or Mk. , and the tone of Mt. 8:20 compared with Mk. 2:10.

21. Emphasis on lowliness and human sympathy?[edit]

In commenting on Mt. 8:20, De Wette observed that to those who did not think of Dan. 7:13 the expression could only suggest 'this man', whilst to those who had the Daniel passage in mind it would mean 'this insignificant man who, in spite of his humble condition, is destined to become that which the prophet has indicated'. In this pregnant utterance the thought of Paulas still shows its vitality ; but it contains the germs of new theories.

Wilke (Urevangelist, 633 [1838]) inferred from Mt. 10 :13 that 'son of man' cannot be identical with the Messiah. Baur (ZWTh. 1860) made an intersting contribution by showing that the passage where the term occurs in the fourth gospel cannot throw any light on its original meaning. His examination of the synoptics convinced him that the context never favoured the idea of an ideal humanity and that there was no reference to Dan. 7:13 ; and he therefore concluded that Jesus invented the term, at the same time to claim for himself a Messiahship without which he could not attain to a more universal recognition and a genuinely national work, and to keep aloof from the vulgar Messianic idea associated with the title 'son of God'. He would be, not a king coming in power and glory, but a man deeming nothing foreign to him that belongs to the lot of a human being, identifying himself with all human conditions, needs, and interests, in genuine human sympathy, and accepting all sufferings and sacrifices connected with his work in life. This has been called an 'emphatically low' estimate in distinction from that of Herder. It should be observed, however, that it comes much nearer to the old dogmatic position with its sharp contrast between the title of Christ's humiliation and that characteristic of his glory, as seen, e.g., in Meyer (Comm. 1832, to Mt. 8:20), and that it really sets forth the human worth of Jesus personality more clearly than any mere abstraction like the ideal.

Colani (Jesus Christ et les croyances Messianiques, 74+ [1864]) held that the expression was unknown before Jesus because it was he who created it, that by it he designated himself as the poor child of Adam, and also as the object of a peculiar divine love, that no one called him by this name because it would have been little short of an insult, and that it disappeared because in the church the divinity became more important than the humanity of Jesus.

Strauss was also won for the opinion of Baur and Colani; and Schenkel (Bibel-lexikon, 1872) presented a somewhat similar conception based on Ps. 8.

22. Modified Messianic title?[edit]


Hilgenfeld, like Baur, regarded the term as indicating lowly external conditions and a humble disposition, but entered a protestt against separating it from its source in Dan., and maintained its Messianic significance in all places, though reflecting the peculiar conception of Jesus (ZWTh. 1863, p. 327+). Baur was led by this presentation to assume a later Danielic significance for the eschatological discourses (NTTh. 1864, p. 82).

Bernhard Weiss (Bibl Th. NT 59+ [1868]) saw in the expression neither a current Messianic title nor a description of character, but a term having no intrinsic significance in Dan., chosen by Jesus to avoid misapprehension of his aims and yet to announce himself as the Messiah promised in Dan. The statements made concerning the Son of Man were consequently regarded by him as synthetic judgments, in the Kantian phraseology introduced in this connection by Biedermann (Dogmatik, 226-227).

Mangold (Th. Arb. d. rhein. PV 1877, pp. 1-2) regarded the term as a Messianic title, chosen to emphasise the possibility of suffering and death as a man, and the coming exaltation as the true, ideal man. Usteri (Th. Z.a.d. Schweiz, 1886, pp. 1+) strongly urged that the verbal meaning of the phrase was of no importance, as it was solely a title of office selected by Jesus in order to allude to the coming of the promised redemption to mankind. Essentially this view was held by Bruce (Kingdom of God, 172 [1890]), and Stevens (Teaching of Jesus, 91+ [1901]) emphasised the new content which Jesus is likely to have given to this Messianic designation.

1 Hilgenfeld, B. Weiss, Mangold, Usteri, Bruce, Stevens.

2 Weisse, Ritschl, Holtzmann, Keim, Hase, Holsten, Wendt, Paul, Dalman, Gunkel, Fiebig.

23. Mystifying title?[edit]


Rejecting Ewald's theory as to Enoch 46+, Weisse looked upon the term as an original creation of Jesus to express his peculiar consciousness ot being a human Son of God and therefore having no familiar connotation to his hearers but presenting to them a riddle (Ev. Gesch. 1:325 [1838] ; Ev.-frage. 22+ [1856]).

Weisse's philological explanation ('human son'; like 3j< C OBTI) supposed Hebrew original of OTrarrjp 6 ovpai tos [o pater o ouranios], 'heavenly father') naturally met with no approval, and his confusion of the Synoptic with the Johannine use was wisely avoided by Ruschl. Sharing, however, with Weisse, the view that Mk. is earlier than Mt. and presents in a more trustworthy manner the course of Jesus' life, Ritschl was led to the conclusion that Jesus used the term to conceal rather than to reveal his Messianic claims, as Mk. records two instances of its use before the important episode at Caesarea Philippi (Th. Jahrb. 1851, p. 514).

Holtzmann (ZWTh. 1865, pp. 212+) pointed out the determining influence of the first occurrence in Mt. (8:20) upon those who maintained the priority of this gospel, held that in reality the passage suggests Messianic dignity rather than humility, and inferred from Mk. 210 the Messianic significance of the term to the mind of Jesus, but considered this to have been a secret until the visit to Caesarea. Reim thought that Jesus gradually went beyond this mystifying title to such designations as 'the coming one', 'the bridegroom', in suggesting his Messianic claims (Gesch. Jesu, 2:376). Hase was of the opinion that Jesus chose this term first to conceal, and then at the proper time to manifest his Messiahship as the perfection of human nature (Gesch. Jesu, 412). According to Wendt (Lehre Jesu, 441+ [1890]), the use of this expression was not so much a riddle, as a problem provoking to thought and private judgment ; for whilst the hearers by their transcendental conception of the Messiah were prevented from seeing in the Daniel phrase 'Son of man' a fit designation of so august a being, Jesus found it most suitable to express his convic tion that in spite of human weakness and lowly con ditions he was the Messiah. In Mt. 8:20, 9:6, 11:19, 12:8, 12:32 and parallels, Holsten (ZWTh. 1891, pp. 1+) saw the evidence that Jesus used this term concerning himself before the scene at Ccesarea Philippi, and in Mt. 16:13 the proof that he employed it to designate himself as the Messiah.

It seemed to Holsten probable that Jesus Messianic conscious ness grew out of his experience, suggesting to him that the chosen one on whom the unction of spirit rested was to pass through two forms of existence, one of humiliation, another of glory, even as the 'Son of man' in Dan. was brought from earth to heaven to be clothed with power. So profound a view, however, must have been a mystery to the disciples until it was revealed to them.

According to Paul (Vorstellungen um Messias, 42 [1895]), the mystery existed for Jesus himself as well as for his hearers, inasmuch as there was a time in the Galilaean period when he still doubtfully asked whether in reality he was the Son of man promised in Dan. Dalman (Worte Jesu, 191+ [1898]) clearly recognised that 'the Son of man' was not a Messianic title in the time of Jesus, and that bar-nasha was the phrase used by him that has l>een translated 6 i>Z6s roO dvffpJnrov [o uios tou anthroopou]. This, however, he regarded as unknown in Galilaean Aramaic at that period in the sense of 'man'.

It would therefore naturally point to Dan. 7:13, a passage especially attractive to Jesus, because it ascribed the establishment of the kingdom of heaven to God alone. Dalman considered it improbable that Jesus employed the phrase before the episode at Caisarea, some pericopes having been placed out of their chronological order. After that event his disciples regarded it as a declaration that he was the Son of man of Daniel' vision ; to the people it was a riddle, the solution of which Jesus did not give until his appearance before the Sanhedrin, and then at the cost pfihis life; to himself it was a means of realising and teaching that the child of human parents, by nature weak, destined by God to be the ruler of the world, may before his investiture with Messianic power be obliged to suffer and die.

Accepting the view that bar-nasha was used and meant simply 'man', 'the man', Gunkel (ZWTh. 1899, pp. 581+, Vierte Buck Ezra, 347 [1900]) maintained that 'the man' was a secret title of the Messiah used in Apocalyptic circles, and originating in Babylonian mythology.

Like Gunkel, Fiebig (Der Menschensohn, 61+ [1901]) regarded 'the man' as a familiar designation of the Messiah ; but as his philological examination had led to the conclusion that KC 3^2 was understood in Galilee at the time of Jesus as meaning also 'man', he ingeniously argued that the phrase was intentionally used in an ambiguous manner, so that the hearers might believe that he (Jesus) was speaking of man in general, or of 'the man' - i.e., the Messiah as a third person - whilst in reality he was speaking of himself.

24. Composite idea?[edit]


The conception of the phrase as a mystifying title into which Jesus poured the contents of his peculiar Messianic consciousness was naturally favourable to the introduction of various combinations ; whilesome scholars were contented with a single OT passage as the basis for further development, others thought of several different ideas blending into a new conception.

Thus Weizsacker conceived of a gradual revelation of Jesus Messianic self-consciousness, first on the prophetic side suggested by Ezekiel, and then on the royal side intimated by Dan. (JDTh. 1859, p. 736+, Ev. Gesch. 426+ [1864]). Hausrath found in the term a combination of the heavenly man in Dan., the man that is a little lower than the angels in Ps. 8, and the prophet in Ez. (NT Zeitgesch. (3), 1879, 1:480). Wittichen introduced, in addition, ihe Son of man in Enoch and the Servant of Yahwe in 2 Is. (Die Idee des Menschen, 137+ [1818]; Nosgen (Gesch. Jesu, 155+ [1891]) saw in the expression a combination of esoteric Messiahship suggested by Daniel, and a phase of existence through which the Messiah must pass with its predetermined humilialion and suffering. Bartlet (Expos. 1892, p. 427+) also united the idea of the suffering servant with that of an ideal representative of humanity and the kingdom of God. Schnedermann (Jesu Verkundigung, 2, 1895, 206+) combined Danielic Messiah, Ezekielic prophet, ideal man, and human suffering. Charles (Book of Enoch, 312+ [1893]) held that the true interpretation would be found if the conception in Enoch were taken for a starting-point, its enlargement and essential transformation in the usage of Jesus were noted, its subsequent reconciliation to the conception of the Servant of Yahwe were observed, and the occasional reminiscences of Dan. 7 were perceived. Stapfer (Jesus Christ pendant son ministere, 305+ [1897]) combines in the expression Ezekielic prophet and Danielic Messiah. In the judgment of Sanday (Hastings, DB 2:622-623) the ideas of a representative of the human race, an 'ideal man', and a suffering servant of Yahwe are fused into the central idea of Messiahship. This position is also endorsed by Driver (ib. 4:582).

1 Weizsacker, Hausrath, Wittichen, Nusgen, Schnedermann, Bartlet, Charles, Stapfer, Sanday, Driver.

25. Prophetic title?[edit]

Whilst Weizsacker found in the customary designation of Ezekiel a means employed by Jesus for suggesting the prophetic character of his Messiahship, Vernes held that 'Son of man' actually was a current prophetic title assumed by Jesus to indicate that, like John the Baptist, he was a herald of the coming kingdom, and subsequently merged into the Danielic 'Son of man' by the Church (Idees mess. 178). This view has been carried out most consistently by Cary (The Synoptic Gospels, 360+ [1900]) who maintains that by this term Jesus intended to announce himself as a prophet sent to warn his people of the danger which threatened them if they did not turn from their evil ways.

26. Designation of Jesus' own ideal future Messiahship, or indwelling genius?[edit]

It was not unnatural that the thought should arise that the 'Son of man', of whom Jesus is represented as having habitually spoken in the third person, was an ideal or spirit not identical with, though closely related to, his own immediate self.

Bruckner (JPTh. 1886, p. 272) suggested that Jesus who, in his judgment, never used the term before the episode at Caesarea, when predicting the return of the Son of man, thought not of his own personality, of the man Jesus, but rather of the ideals with which he had identified himself. A. Reville (Jesus de Nazareth, 2:190+ [1897]) concluded from Mk. 2:10, 2:28 and Mt. 25 that in the thought of Jesus the phrase designated something more than an individual son, though this individual be Jesus himself, that it was a personification of a principle transcendent above, and immanent in, all the persons making up the sum total of humanity, and only applied to Jesus in so far as he identified himself wilh this principle. According to Joh. Weiss (Predigt Jesu, 52+ [1892]; Nachfolge Christi, 33-34 [1875]), Jesus used the term to indicate his future position. When he should return upon the clouds, he would be the Son of man referred to by Daniel. In the sayings concerning the death of the Son of man, he taught objectively that the coming Messiah must suffer and die; in Mt. 11:19, 16:13, Lk. 7:34 the title has been substituted for original 'I'; in Mk. 2 1028 ihe philological explanation resumed by Lagarde, Rahlfs, and Wellausen (see 29) should be applied (cp also Predigt Jesu (2), 1900, pp. 160+, 201+, where the interpretation of some passages is slightly modified). In harmony with his exegesis of Dan. 7:13, Grill (l.c., 57+) comes to the conclusion that Jesus more or less distinctly conceived of himself as being dynamically identified with the highest principle of revelation, the angelic hypostasis introduced by Daniel, and that the original text read eyw [egoo] in Mk. 2:10 and o dctfpiuTroj [o anthroopos] in Mk. 2:28.

27. Designation of kingdom of heaven?[edit]

When the interpretation of Daniel's 'Son of man' as a symbol of a coming ideal society had won its way to wide recognition, the suggestion lay near at hand that Jesus may have used it himself in the same sense. Hoekstra maintained that Jesus indicated not himself by this term, but the new religious community to which the kingdom was to be given (De benaming de zoon des Menschen, 1866). Carpenter (First Three Gospels, 1890, p. 383+) held that Jesus employed it as an emblem of the kingdom of righteousness, and that his followers, impressed with the conviction that he was the Messiah, understood it in a personal sense, and gave such a colouring to his reported utterances as accorded with this assumption. Drummond (JTh.St. 1901) thinks thai Jesus may have regarded it as an expression for the ideal people of God, and for himself as head of this class, giving to it the same primarily collective, subsequently individual, sense that the Servant of Yahwe has.

28. Creation by the evangelists?[edit]


Whilst many scholars failed to make any distinction between the words actually uttered by Jesus, and the sayings ascribed to him by the evangelists, and some were content with beating passages of doubtful authenticity, others felt the necessity for a more searching criticism. As a more correct estimate of the Fourth Gospel spread, the tendency developed in many circles to lean all the more heavily on the synoptics. It is largely the merit of Bruno Bauer and Volkmar to have applied the same measure to all the gospels, explaining each as a didactic work written for a definite purpose, and naturally reflecting the religious thought of the author and the men among whom he lived. From this point of view B. Bauer readied the conclusion that Jesus never called himself Son of man (Kritik d. ev. Gesch. [1842] 3:1+), and Volkmar was led to the view that it was an original creation of Mk.

But was really Mk. the originator of it? Colani (Jesus Christ, 140 [1864]) had seen that Mk. 13:6-32 (Mt. 24:4-38, Lk. 21:8-36) was 'a veritable Apocalypse lacking nothing essential to this species of composition'. According to Jacobsen this was the door through which the expression entered into the gospels, whilst it was still absent in the original form of Mk. (Untersuchungen uber die syn. Evv, 64, [1883]; Prot. Kirchenzeitung, 1886, p. 563+). Pfleiderer (Urchrist. 366, 387 [1887]) also inclined to look upon the word as of foreign Apocalyptic origin, not used by Jesus himself. Convinced that Jesus did not put forth any Messianic claims, Martineau explained the occasional use of the term by Jesus as F. C. Baur (section 21) had done, but ascribed to the Evangelists the conception of it as a Messianic title (Seat of Authority, 335+ [1890]). Orello Cone (New World, 492+ [1893]) also looked upon the Apocalyptic passages as the channel through which 'Son of Man' as a Messianic title found its way into the gospel, though he still thought of Jesus as having used it to denote that he was 'the man who was pre-eminently endowed from on high'.

In H. L. Oort's dissertation (Deuitdrukking o vi. T. a. in het NT, 1893) the Messianic significance of the term in the Greek NT was strongly maintained ; its origin was sought in Dan. and the later Apocalypses, whence it was taken by the evangelists, and no effort was made to trace any of the sayings back to Jesus. Van Manen (Th. T, 1893, p. 544 ; 1894, p. 177+) discountenanced in principle any attempt to go behind the written records, and ascribed to the influence of Dan. and Enoch the introduction of the term as a Messianic title in the gospels; a view also adopted by Baljon (Griekisch-Theoiogisch Woordenboek, 2960). Brandt's position was fundamentally the same as Volkmar's ; but he added the important suggestion that the identification of Jesus with Daniel's 'Son of man' would be most natural, if this Apocalyptic figure had been recently introduced (Evangelische Geschichte, 562+ [1893]). It was probably the Messianic interpretation, however, not Dan. 7 itself, as (following Lagarde) Brandt was inclined to think, that was of recent origin. Thus a deep chasm was found between the gospels and the actual words of Jesus, over which no man could pass with any degree of assurance. How completely this exclusive regard for the Greek gospels tended to crowd into the background the whole question concerning the Son of man, may be seen in the important discussion of the Messianic secret by Wrede (Das Messiasgeheimnis [1901]), in which it is scarcely touched upon, except that he expresses a doubt whether a play upon words can have been intended in Lk. 9:44, on the ground that the solemn title 'Son of Man' and not 'man' is contrasted with 'men'.

1 Bruno Bauer, Volkmar, Jacobsen, Pfleiderer, Martineau, Cone, Oort, Van Manen, Baljon, Brandt, Wrede.

The Philological Method[edit]

29. Fresh recourse to the Aramaic.[edit]

If this in itself perfectly legitimate literary criticism had the tendency of leading to a wholly negative result, or at best a non liquet, as regards the use of the title by Jesus, there was at least a possibility that this result was due to a serious defect in the method pursued - viz., the failure to examine the reported sayings in what must have been approximately their form in the vernacular of Jesus, if spoken by him. With the multiplicity of new and complicated problems claiming the attention of students of early Christian literature and the apparent necessity for a division of labour, it is not strange that even eminent NT scholars should have devoted indefatigable labours to what at best could be only translations of the words of Jesus without ever inquiring what the Aramaic sentences were that he actually uttered, whilst OT scholars to whom such a question would naturally occur hesitated to enter a field no longer familiar to them. The chief significance of Lagarde's and Wellhausen's contributions to the problem lies in the fact that it was again approached from the standpoint of Semitic philology. Positively, the gain was not great at first.

Uloth had only renewed the old explanation of the ration alistic school (Godgelcerde bijdragen, 1862, p. 467+). Lagarde, like Uloth, saw that Jesus must have used bar-nasha and thought his purpose was to indicate that he was not a Jew, nor the member of any nation, but a man (Deutsche Schriften, 226 [1878], (Gess. Abh. 26). Wellhausen held that bar-nasha should have been translated o ai/0pw7ros [o anthroopos], but found it exceedingly strange that Jesus should have said 'the man' instead of 'I', though he rightly felt that it was not more peculiar than the currently accepted view that he said 'the Messiah' instead of 'I' (Israelitische u. jud. Geschickte (1) 312 [1894]). J. Weiss, following Rahlfs, wisely returned to Grotius's exegesis of Mk. 2:10, 2:28 ; but the improbability of his eschatological explanation (see 26) left the problem still unsolved.

30. Basis in generic use and later transformation.[edit]

What was needed was a search for the Aramaic original that should at the same time take account of the results of literary criticism secured by such scholars as Bruno Bauer, Volkmar, and Van Manen, as well as by a Baur, a Ritschl, and a Holsten, a keener analysis of the apocalyptic sources, and a thorough investigation of the Gnostic attitude to this title. It is to be regretted that Bruins, who acutely criticised Oort s failure to consider the Aramaic usage ( Th. T, 1894, p. 646-647), did not follow up his own suggestions. The scope of De Christus naar de Ev. (1896) possibly prevented a discussion.

Eerdmans first combined the general position of Van Manen and Oort with the assertion that in Mt. 12:8, 12:32, 16:13 Jesus used bar-nasha in the sense of 'man'. He could not find in bar-nasha a Messianic title, nor think that Jesus regarded himself as the Messiah. Yet he considered it probable that on some occasions Jesus used the term concerning himself in emphatically declaring to those who would see in him something more than a man, that he was only a man as well as they. As to the origin of the Greek phrase as a Messianic title, he thought it possible that it arose through the peculiar form of the Greek translation ; and the absence of this title everywhere in early Christian literature except where there was evidence of acquaintance with the gospels, he accounted for by assuming that it was everywhere a translation of an Aramaic original (Th. T, 1894, p. 153+, 1895, p. 49+).

The view that Jesus never called himself 'the Son of man', indicates that he was either the Messiah, the ideal man, or a mere man ; that, nevertheless, the development of this term into a Messianic title was in part due to his having spoken upon some occasions concerning the rights and privileges of 'man', using the word bar nasha in such a startling manner as to create, contrary to his intention, the impression among later interpreters that he had referred to himself, and that through the Greek translation of the Synoptic Apocalypse it found its way into the gospels, was first expressed by the present writer in a paper read before the Society for Biblical Literature and Exegesis in 1895, and published in JBL 15:3+. On independent grounds it was con sidered that only four sayings containing the phrase placed before the incident at Caesarea can be judged genuine - viz., Mt. 8:20, 9:6, 12:8, 12:32. A statement of universal validity to the effect that 'man must pass away, but he will rise again', was supposed to have received later colouring in what were misunderstood as predictions of Jesus death and resurrection after three days; and it was thought possible that in Mt. 26:64 Jesus spoke of the kingdom of heaven referring to Daniel's symbol.

Arnold Meyer (Jesu Muttersprache, 91+, 140+ [1896]) briefly indicated his belief that in Mk. 2:10, 2:28, Mt. 12:32 an original bar-nasha meaning 'man' was used, that in Mt. 8:20 it stood for 'I', and that in Mt. 11:19 it should be translated 'some one'. He deferred the discussion of the eschatological passages to a second part of his work which has not yet appeared. But from later utterances (Die moderne Forschung uber die Gesch. des Christentums, 75 [1898] and Th.Lit.Z. 1898, col. 272) it may be inferred that in some places he thinks it possible that the 'coming of the Son of man' actually spoken of by Jesus was identical with the 'coming of the kingdom of heaven'. He also brought to light the forgotten labours of Genebrord and Bolten, and called fresh attention to the exegesis of Grotius.

Lietzmann (Der Menschensohn [1896]) first observed that there are no traces of the title outside of the Gospels and Acts before Marcion, and surmised that it originated in Asia Minor between the death of Paul and the year 90 A.D. (On the latter point see 43.) In regard to the use of bar-nasha by Jesus, Lietzmann reached independent conclusions that approximated most closely to those of the present writer, from whom he differed chiefly in not being able to assume a basis in the language of Jesus for the subsequently modified sayings concerning his death and resurrection (see 40), while he rejected Eerdmans' view that Jesus occasionally used it to denote himself. He was also disinclined to accept Meyer's contention that the occurrence of the phrase in some of the eschatological passages should be traced back to Jesus, without desiring, however, to pass a judgment in this matter beyond the general conclusion that Jesus did not call himself 'the Son of Man' (Th, Arbeiten aus d. Rhein. Pred. Ver. [1899]).

31. Defence of this theory.[edit]


The theory stated above was accepted and defended by Wellhausen (Gesch. (2) 381 [1897]; Skizzen, 6187+ [1899]). He thought it probable that Jesus once (Mk 10:33-34) expressed apprehensions as to the outcome of his visit to Jerusalem ; but, as the exact wording cannot be ascertained, he deemed it impossible to determine whether the term bar-nasha was used. As the source was Dan. 7:13, he regarded it as possible that already the Aramaic term bar-nasha had come to be understood in some circles as a designation of the Messiah.

Pfleiderer (New World, 444+ [1899]) also adopted the view, which was not far from his own earlier position. (On his ingenious theory concerning Lk. 22:36-38 see section 40.) Marti (Das Buch Daniel, 53 [1901]) indicated his acceptance. On the linguistic side, Bevan came to the defence against Dalman (Critical Rev. 1899, pp. 148+), and Noldeke added the weight of his approval (in Drummond, l.c.).

Adopting Wrede's position, Staerk (Prof. Monatsh., 1902, p. 297+) sees in the mysterious name 'Son of Man' a creation of early Christian anti-Jewish polemics, having one root in some misunderstood \6yia [logia] such as Mk. 2:10 etc. , and intended to veil the Messiahship of Jesus during his lifetime. Such a conscious intention he finds in the fact that men to whom bar-nasha in the sense of 'man' must have been familiar slavishly translated it with 6 iitos rov dvOpwrrov [o uios tou anthroopou].

1 Wellhausen, Pfleiderer, Marti, Bevan, Noldeke, Staerk.

32. Partial agreement.[edit]

Holtzmann (NTTh., 1897, pp. 246+) finds it impossible, in view of the accumulating material and philological difficulties, to pronounce peremptorily against this theory, and is inclined to accept it so far as the pre-Caesarean passages are concerned, while presenting as a still available alternative the view of Holsten. Fries (Det fjarde evangelict, 87+ [1898]) reaches the conclusion that the term was used by Jesus only on rare occasions to avoid the personal pronoun, and not in a purely Messianic sense, while through En., where it only means 'man', it was introduced as a Messianic title in the Synoptics (cp section 28).

It is scarcely probable that a new investigation of peloni 3lSS 4 ) or 'otho ha-ish (c^Nn 1H1N) as a substitute for Jesus in certain Talmudic writings would throw any light on our question, as Fries thinks ; Eliezer no doubt said it?< [YShV] in Yoma. 66b. The extensive reading of Fiebig (Der Menschensohn, 1901), including large parts of the Talmud not before examined in regard to this phrase, corroborated the opinions on which the theory rested. Fiebig recognised the essential accuracy of the observations made by the present writer (p. 59), and his criticism of Wellhausen was scarcely judicious. When the latter scholar affirmed that the Aramaeans had no other word for the individual of the human species than bar-nasha, he evidently did not mean to deny that words originally, having another meaning, such as gabra and nasha, in course of time came to be used also with that significance, as is clear from Skizzen, 6:196 n. (1899). The only word relevant to this discussion, however, is one that could have been translated 6 vibs rov avOpianov [o uios tou anthroopou], and the only such word in Aramaic is bar-nasha, since expressions like b'reh de-gabra (10331 ,Ta), b'reh de-nasha (tttywi .Tn), and b rch de-bar-nasha (NS J-QI ma), manifestly originated as Christian translations of the Greek term ; but bar-nasha is the only Aramaic word that denotes the individual of the genus man and nothing else. As the material considered by Fiebig clearly indicates, and as this scholar himself unhesitatingly concludes, that Jesus employed the term bar-nasha (xBO-a)and that this was naturally understood by his hearers to mean 'man' in general, his further assumption that Jesus meant by it himself as the Messiah appears somewhat hazardous. If Jesus was willing to have his hearers infer that he cherished such bold and original ideas as that man for whose sake the sabbath was made was also lord of the sabbath and that any man, not merely a priest by virtue of his office, has a right to pardon sin, why ascribe to himself as an arriere pensee the narrower and less logical conception that he alone as the Messiah was lord of the sabbath and had the right to pardon sin ? If he at all entertained such a thought, it cannot have appeared to him unimportant, and it is difficult to see how he could have been willing to spread what in that case would have been a dangerously false impression by an ambiguous use of language. Oscar Holtzmann (Leben Jesu, 1:28+ [1901]) accepts the proposed exegesis of Mk. 2:10, 2:28, Mt. 8:20, and Lk. 9:58, but thinks it probable that Jesus used the expression on many occasions to indicate his acquiescence in man's general lot, and to teach objectively concerning the Messiah which he believes himself to be.

33. Objections by different scholars.[edit]

Because of its far-reaching implications (see 46), it was natural that the explanation stated above should meet wit much opposition. Van Manen (l.c.) rightly protested against the tendency to assume a genuine utterance behind every saying attributed to Jesus in the synoptics, and to forget the peculiar character and manifestly late origin of these writings. But since even within the synoptics it is often possible to trace a growth from a simpler form to one unquestionably coloured by later thought, the investigator certainly has the right to assume that this development did not begin in our present gospels. By testing a certain word in an approximation to the Aramaic form it must have had if uttered by Jesus, an entirely different sense is not seldom suggested that may readily have been obscured by a natural mistake in translation, or an equally natural doctrinal bias. As to Mt. 16:13+, van Manen is probably in the main right (see section 39), as well as in upholding the Messianic significance of the Greek term everywhere, and in rejecting the survival of Baur's position in Eerdmans. On Hilgenfeld's argument based upon the Gospel according to the Hebrews, see section 42. The fact that Dalman (l.c.) could find no other Aramaic term likely to have been used by Jesus than bar-nasha, and recognised the improbability of this having been a Messianic title, is more significant than his contention that bar-nasha in the sense of 'man' was a Syriac innovation and not likely to have been thus understood in Galilee in the time of Jesus.

Dalman may, indeed, have indicated a real tendency of Aramaic speech in Syria ; but the remains of its various dialects are too scanty and late to determine whether the development was from an earlier bar-nasha to a less accurate use of gabra or nasha for 'man', 'der Mensch', a view favoured by the general spread of Aramaic from Mesopotamia and N. Syria southwards, or from an earlier gebar or nash to a later bar-nash. But Bevan s point that the various uses of nash and and bar-nash which appear concurrently in Syriac are all found in one or another of the Palestinian dialects and that no Palestinian dialect employs any of these forms in a sense unknown in Syriac, is certainly well taken; and Wellhausen rightly feels that Dan. 7:13 is itself decisive (cp also Fiebig, and usage in Ev. Hier., above section 4, iii.).

The authority of so accomplished a student of Palestinian Aramaic as Dalman naturally influenced other scholars. Baldensperger ( Th. Rundschau, 1900, p. 201+) expressed his satisfaction with the final defeat of the philological explanation, and hinted at undue philosophical prepossessions. Rush Rhees (JBL 17:96) also thought that the present writer was hampered by the prejudgment that Jesus cannot have made for himself at the outset any supernatural claims. This, however, was not the case, as the conviction that Jesus did not cherish a desire to become even a righteous king, a divinely appointed ruler of Israel and the nations, was not the starting-point but the rather un expected result of a long series of investigations. Klopper (ZWTh. 1899, p. 161+) accepts the validity of Schmiedel's arguments (see section 34), and thinks that Jesus, already in the Galilaean period, claimed for himself a peculiar kind of Messiahship by the Danielic title. He deems it probable that Jesus looked upon his victory over Satan in Mt. 4:1+ as a realisation of the slaying of the beast in Dan. 7:11, 7:26. It is difficult to see what ethical content could have been given to a figure which everybody understood to mean the establishment of the empire of the Jews that could not also have been given to the current Messianic ideal.

Clemen (TLZ, 1899, col. 489) asks why bar-nasha cannot have been a Messianic title at the time of Jesus as well as later. The answer is that there is no evidence whatever that bar-nasha was ever used as a Messianic title. There is reason to believe that Jesus on some occasions used it in the sense it commonly and exclusively has in extant Aramaic literature. In these instances it has been wrongly translated in the Gk. Gospels by a title not yet drawn from Dan. when Rev. , 4 Ezra, and the interpolations in En. 37-71 were written in the reign of Domitian. 1

The most serious objection of Krop (La pensee de Jesus, 1897) is derived from the presence of the title in predictions of Jesus death and resurrection. How was the title brought from the eschatological series into so different a setting? It may be answered that when once utterances concerning the Son of man had been placed upon the lips of Jesus, and the expression conse quently understood as a self-designation, it may readily have been substituted for 'I', as the vacillating tradition in many places indicates, and adopted in the creation of new oracles. It is probable, however, that a genuine utterance of Jesus was misunderstood and made the foundation of these logia (see section 40).

Gunkel's opposition (l.c.) comes from his strong conviction that the man is a mythological figure.

As to the personality to whom Dan., Enoch, and 4 Ezra refsr, he is no doubt right in assuming an ultimate Babylonian origin. The conflict between Marduk and Tiamat became in Judaism one between Yahwe and the great chaos-monster. What was first ascribed to Yahwe himself was subsequently assigned to an angel. After the destruction of the beast, this celestial representative of Israel comes in Dan. 7 with the clouds to receive the world-empire. The development of the Messianic idea (cp Schmidt, Son of Man, chap. 6) led to a transfer of these functions to the Messiah. But that the heavenly king, described like other angels as having the appearance of a man, was known as 'the man', lacks all plausibility. Designations suggesting character or function - such as 'the chosen one', 'the just one', 'the restorer', 'the bridegroom', 'the lamb' - are intelligible ; 'the man on the clouds' would point to Dan. 7:13, and titles signifying this, like J3J7 (Trg- to 1 Ch. 3:24) and ^3313 (Sank. 96b), were indeed formed, as Eerdmans has shown; but, neither in Babylonian mythology, nor in Jewish speculation, is it likely that an important personage was referred to merely as 'the man', the human being.

An objection is raised by Rose (Rev. bibl. , 1900, pp. 169+): the close connection between the kingdom and the Son of man render it probable that Jesus, to whom the former idea was of such importance, also occupied himself with the latter. Two facts, however, are not sufficiently considered in this view. Intense speculations concerning the kingdom and the world to come are frequently found without any allusion to a Messiah, and this is readily accounted for by the hope centring on God himself as the sole deliverer of his people and judge of the world. When Drummond (l.c.) appeals to the independent tradition of Jn. and to the fact that 'the apostles must have known whether their Master spoke of himself in the way recorded in the gospels or not', it is to be said that acquaintance with the synoptics on the part of the Fourth Evangelist can scarcely be doubted, that the peculiar use of the term in his gospel (see section 45) does not point to an independent tradition, and that the synoptic gospels were written too late to reflect, even on points more important than this, what the apostles must have known, as Drummond himself would no doubt admit. His weightiest objection is that the Church would have preferred to invent some higher title. But the impression left upon an ancient reader of Dan. 7:13 was not that of a frail mortal, but rather that of a resplendent celestial being ; and the title was not invented, it grew. Driver (l.c. ) recognises that all such considerations would have to yield, 'if it were philologically certain that "the son of man" could not have been an expression used by our Lord'. That bar-nasha should not have been understood as 'man' in Galilee in the first century, although it was so used in the second, does not seem to him quite probable. He therefore goes to the opposite conclusion that bar-nasha = 'man' may have been so exceedingly common that for emphasis Jesus was obliged to use the term b'reh de-nasha, meaning 'the Son of man'. But this Christian translation of d vibs rod dvOpuwov [o uios tou anthroopou], intelligible only as a product of dogmatic necessity, would not have been understood as 'the Son of man' but as 'the son of the Man'. Realising the precariousness even of this assumption, he finally quotes with approval Sanday's opinion that Jesus may have introduced the term upon some occasion when he was addressing his Aramaic-speaking fellow-men - in Greek ! It is not easy to believe that this Son of man who went forth to seek and to save that which was lost presented to his Galilaean fishermen riddles concerning himself in a foreign tongue.

Even the suggestion of Jansen quoted by Weiss (Predigt Jesu, (2) 165) that Jesus used the Hebrew term ben-adam, though less violent, lacks all probability. It is not apparent why he should have translated bar-nasha into ben-adam, which was not a Messianic title and could not possibly suggest Dan. 7:13.

1 On the argument for an earlier existence of the title drawn by Charles from Enoch 37-71 (Hist, of Doctr. of Future Life, 214-215 [1889]), see section 7.

34. Schmiedel's criticism.[edit]

The keenest criticism of the new interpretation has been made by Schmiedel (Prot. Monatsh., 1898, pp. 252+, 291+, 1901, pp. 333+). He is unquestionably rignt in laying down the principle that 'absolute credibility should be accorded to that which cannot have been invented by a tradition replete with veneration for Jesus because contradicting it, and most clearly in instances where, among the evangelists themselves, one or another has actually effected a transformation out of reverence for Jesus'. Strangely enough, this acute critic has failed to perceive that, if the interpretation based on the Aramaic is admitted, the passages in question furnish most valuable illustrations of his principle. Has a man the right to assure his fellow-man that his sins are pardoned ? The Pharisees assert that God alone can pardon sin. Jesus affirms that man has the right to do so. This thought was too bold for the Church to grasp. She asked, 'Who is the man that can pardon sins?' and her answer was, 'the Christ'. It was no doubt because the translator, following the custom of the Alexandrian version, rendered the phrase literally d vibs rov dvdpunrov [o uios tou anthroopou] rather than in good idiomatic Greek d av6pu>Tros [o anthroopos] that the saying was preserved at all.

It is not necessary to assume that the question debated was originally connected with a case of healing, and quite irrelevant to ask whether Jesus thought that all men could exercise healing power, nor is it at all certain that Jesus would have answered such a question in the negative. Jesus declares that the sabbath was made for man s sake, therefore man is also lord of the sabbath, and the added remarks show that he regarded the whole cult as of less importance than the principle of love violated in the charge made against his disciples. But a view of the sabbath that put it wholly into_ the hands of man, was too radical for the Church. By the misleading, though probably unintentional, turn given to the expression in Greek, she gained the comforting assurance that the Christ was lord of the sabbath, and would, no doubt, lend his authority to any change made in his honour. The more in harmony with the growing veneration for Jesus this thought is, the more value must be attached to the earlier and so markedly different form revealed by a translation of the saying back into the original Aramaic.

In Mt. 8:20 Jesus used what sounds like a current epigram to indicate the vicissitudes of human life. He thought of man's lot, the Church instantly thought of his ; and the greater the distance between her meditation upon the humiliation of her heavenly lord from the general outlook upon human life suggested by the Aramaic saying, the stronger is the presumption in favour of the latter. There is pardon, Jesus declares, for anything that is said against a man, hut when the Holy Spirit that works his mighty deeds through a man is declared to be an evil spirit, how can there he forgiveness? While the Aramaic saying suggests as the thought of Jesus, that men should he willing to forgive whatever may he said against them, but that it is an infinitely more serious matter to call a manifestly good spirit possessing a man, Beelzebub ; the Church found it far easier to think that Jesus has given the gracious assurance that he would pardon even blasphemy against himself, though he was the Messiah, possibly because his Messianic glory was veiled, but that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit could not be forgiven. When the prophet s death began to appear to him as the inevitable result of his career, he may have comforted his disciples with another word of universal application: 'man must pass away, but he will rise again'. Convinced by the testimony of those who had seen him in heavenly visions that he had risen from the dead, the Church was better prepared for the thought that he had predicted his own death and resurrection than that he had in simple confidence bound up his own destiny with that of humanity. In proportion as the Aramaic sayings thus disclosed differ from the Greek logia, presenting conceptions that do not, like the latter, ally themselves naturally with the developing ecclesiastical appreciation of Jesus, they become precious evidences, both of the historical character of Jesus and of the peculiar type of his teaching.

Schrniedel also argues the probability of an original Messianic reference in Mk. 2:28 from Jesus' attitude to the law. He thinks that Jesus may have been led to regard himself as the Messiah by the practical question that he as a reformer was forced to meet, whether the validity of the law might be set aside. 'The law was intended to remain forever. If it must be changed, an explicit authorisation by God was of course necessary. No prophet had possessed this. It was on the whole conceivable only in connection with the new order of the world, the coming of the Messianic age. Consequently, only one could be the divine messenger who would dare to announce it, the Messiah'. This ingenious line of reasoning rests on presuppositions that are scarcely tenable.

Jesus probably believed that Moses wrote the Pentateuch. Yet he found in the prophetic rolls the most pointed criticism of the cult. Prophets had in the name of Clod spoken against sacrifices, temples, sabbaths, and other ordinances of the law. He was manifestly much more influenced by the prophets than by the law. Whilst the quotion of the validity of the codes might seem one of life and death to a lawyer, it is altogether probable that other things seemed far more important to the carpenter of Nazareth. The lissenes did not regard it as necessary to wait for the Messiah to authorise a remarkably free attitude toward the temple service. Galilee was notorious for what were regarded in Jerusalem as laxer conceptions. The man of Nazareth who went forth from his carpenter s bench, as Amos of old from his sycamore trees, is not likely to have scrupled to follow the example of the prophets until he could persuade himself that he was, or was destined to become, the Messiah for whom some of his countrymen longed.

In distinction from Eerdmans, Schmidt, and Lietz-mann, who had looked upon the Greek translators as the agents through whom the designation of 'man' became a Messianic title, Wellhausen thought it possible that already the Aramaic bar-nasha was at one time used with this significance. It would indeed be interesting to know whether 'Son of man' was employed by the Aramaic-speaking Christians in the first century, and if so, what the form was. Unfortunately, there is no evidence on this point.

We do not know what term in the Hebrew gospel Jerome rendered filius hominis, nor the age of the pericope in which he found it. The Ev. Hier. may well be somewhat earlier. But its two terms b'reh de-gabra and b'reh de-bar-nasha are manifestly translations of 6 uibs rov dvOpuinov [o uios tou anthroopou], and only the absence of b'reh de-nasha is of importance as it may show that this Edessene theological term was not used by the Palestinian Christians. The latest interpolations in Enoch 37-71 are of doubtful age and provenience (see section 7). As to the fragments of a lost apocalypse preserved in the Synoptic gospels, there are too many signs of editorial activity in the first of the evangelists, or variants in different copies of the Greek text used, to permit a safe judgment particularly on the important point whether in the Aramaic original Mt. 24:30 and parallels contained the first mention of the coming Son of man. It is altogether possible that the usage in this Apocalypse was analogous to that in Enoch 46 and 4 Ezra 13, the man being first introduced and then referred to with a demonstrative pronoun that would naturally fall away in the Greek when the phrase was understood as a title.

If bar-nasha had ever developed into a Messianic title among the Christians of Palestine, there aid not seem to be any reason why they should have substituted for the term which they must then have supposed Jesus to use, such a phrase as b'reh de-gabra. Schmiedel's point that, if bar-nasha could convey to some minds the idea that the Messiah was meant, there are no grounds, at least so far as the language is concerned, for disputing that it may have been so intended by Jesus and understood by his immediate disciples, appears to the present writer to be well taken. But it touches only an admission by Wellhausen, not necessitated by any unmistakable fact. If such a transformation had been effected in Jewish-Christian circles before the end of the first century, we should expect to find it in Rev. The absence of the title in this Christian apocalypse, where there were many natural occasions for using it, is far more significant than its non-occurrence in the epistolary literature where some such motive as Schmiedel has imagined may have been operative.

35. Value of the philological arugment.[edit]

Until new evidence, or arguments not long ago refuted, shall be adduced in favour of the assumption that Jesus spoke Greek, it must be taken for granted that he addressed his hearers in the Galilaean dialect of the Aramaic. When this is acknowledged, it follows of necessity that it is the duty of every scholar before pronouncing upon the authenticity of any saying attributed to Jesus to consider whether it may have been wrongly translated. In the performance of this duty two difficulties are met with: it is possible only to approximate to the original, and the literary material by which the Galilaean dialect is known apparently does not go back farther than to the second century A.D. On the other hand, the translation in this case is simplified by the fact that 6 vibs rod avOpwirov [o uios tou anthroopou] can only be the rendering of a form compounded with bar (12), and further facilitated by the circumstance that of terms that may be considered, b'reh de-nasha, b'reh de-gabra and b'reh de-bar-nasha must be eliminated. While all these are manifestly Christian renderings of the Greek term, b'reh de-nasha. was apparently not used in Palestine, b'reh de-gabra cannot have been formed as an allusion to Dan. 7:13 and as an original Aramaic expression would put the emphasis on Joseph, and b'reh de-bar-nasha is ruled out by the same considerations. The only available term, then, is bar-nasha.

The examination in detail of Aramaic usage undertaken during the last few years, valuable as it has been, was not necessary to reach this conclusion. But bar-nasha means simply 'man', the individual of the human species, and is the only Aramaic form that by its origin and usage has solely this connotation. Whilst the term occurs with greater frequency in the literary remains of some dialects, there is no reason to believe that it was lacking in any (though even this would not be strange), and it has the same sense wherever it is found. In Galilee it appears to have been used more commonly than in Samaria and Judaea. Although, in the absence of older literature, no actual occurrence of the term before the second century A. D. can be quoted, there is no known fact that even remotely indicates that it was not employed and understood to have the same meaning a few generations earlier.

The phrase translated d t iis TOV iu>6punrov [o uios tou anthroopou], therefore, naturally conveyed the sense of 'man'. This is precisely the most appropriate meaning in the passages whose authenticity on other grounds is least subject to doubt. It is quite possible that in one or another of these sayings the indeterminate bar nash, 'a man', was originally used, or that the emphatic ending had already lost its force. It would then imply only a natural misapprehension, and no violence, if such an utterance as 'A man may pardon sins' should have been interpreted, 'Even a man' - viz. , this man, or 'Though I am a man, I have the right to pardon sins'; and the question as to the authority involved may (so Wellhausen) have assisted in giving the impression that Jesus referred to himself. But from this understanding of the phrase to the conception that Jesus designated by it his Messiahship the distance is very great. A person speaking Aramaic might of course refer to a third person as 'The man', if he had already introduced him. There seems to be no instance of this among the recorded sayings of Jesus. There is not the slightest evidence that the man was a current Messianic title, and the natural impression upon a person to whom Aramaic was the vernacular, that a speaker employing the term bar-nasha referred to man in general, any man, renders it exceedingly im probable that this phrase, without further qualification, can ever have been used as a designation of the Messiah. Since, in spite of this fact, 6 vi. T. a. [o ui. t. a.], is sometimes put upon the lips of Jesus where the generic use is out of the question, the recourse to the Aramaic furnishes a most valuable criterion of genuineness.

36. Force of Greek translation.[edit]

But if bar-nasha meant simply 'man', why was it translated o uioj TOV avOpwwov [o uios tou anthroopou], and not &vOpo>wos [anthroopos]? The answer is to be found partly in the Greek version of the OT, and partly in the development of thought in Greek-speaking Christian circles.

The Hebrew ben-adam was by LXX as a rule rendered vibs avSpioirov [uios anthroopou] (vibs avdpiairiav [uios anthroopon] Job 16:21, vibs yijyeroOs [uios gegenous] many MSS Jer. 40:33), and so also bar-enash in Dan. 7:13 (0 [theta] and LXX). The plural b'ne adam is translated viol dv9pu>wu>v [uioi anthroopon], 1 S. 18:19, 2 S. 7:14, Is. 52:14, Mic. 5:6, Prov. 8:4, 8:31, Ps. 57:5, 146:2, and oi vioi riav avOpiairtav [oi uioi toon anthroopon], Joel 1:12 and frequently in Prov. ; b'ne ha-adam is translated oi viol dv9pumiav [oi uioi anthroopon] in 1 K. 8:39, and ot vioi riav dvdp(a-x<av [oi uioi toon anthroopon] in Gen. 11:5, 2 Ch. 6:30, Ps. 33:13, 145:12.

Of most importance is the usage in Ecclus., where the Hebrew has uniformly b'ni ha-adam and this seems originally to have been rendered everywhere oi vioc TOV ai Opiawov [oi uioi tou anthroopou] (1:13, 2:38, 3:18-19, 3:21, 8:11, 9:3), oi vioi Ttuv dvdpiamot [oi uioi toon anthroopon] occurring only sporadically in MSS as a correction and uioi. avdputirov [uioi anthroopou] as an alternative reading in 3:21 (HP 147, 149, Ald.).

It is significant that Aquila also has oi vioi TOU di dpunrov [oi uioi tou anthroopou] in 8:11 where his text has been preserved. To a Greek this could scarcely have conveyed any other idea than 'the sons of the man', the man being some particular person previously mentioned. Aquila, as well as the translator of Kcclus., thought in Aramaic, had b'ne nasha in mind, and used a^pujn-os [anthroopos] as a collective after the fashion of nasha.

In Dan. 5:21 mibbene enasha is simply rendered an-b TU> dvOpunriav [apo toon anthroopon] (& [theta]). Instead of following this example and rendering bar-nasha by o ai dpia-nos [o anthroopos], the Christian translator adopted the more common custom observed in the Greek version and particularly what seems to have been its most recent form seen in Ecclus.

A Hellenistic Jew familiar with Aramaic would, therefore, be quite likely to divine behind o vibs TOV avdpunrov [oi uioi tou anthroopou] an original bar-nasha, whilst a Greek, naturally inquiring who the (Lvdpuwos [anthroopos] was, would be puzzled by the expression. If this conceivably caused a hesitancy in some minds to employ it, it certainly was to many an additional reason for its use. The air of mystery surrounding it made it peculiarly fitting as a secret intimation of Messiahship. It is manifest that the phrase is not a fresh translation of a Semitic original in every place where it occurs. Possibly this is not the case anywhere. It may have been employed in oral teaching and in earlier writings before any of our gospels were written, and adopted by the evangelists as an already current designation. The use of o w6? TOV avOpuTrov [oi uioi tou anthroopou], not only in passages where the employment in the Greek Bible of a.vQpunroi [anthroopos] as if it were a collective like nasha rendered it possible to see through it a bar-nasha in the ordinary sense of 'man', but also where this would have been impossible, inevitably leads to the conclusion that it may be necessary to distinguish between passages having different claims to authenticity.

37. Need of literary criticism.[edit]

The idea that we possess in the Synoptic gospels accurate transcripts of the words of Jesus is already abandoned when the 69 occurrences are literary reduced to 39, 40, or 42 by eliminating what are deemed unmistakable duplicates. For if the 22 passages (see section 12) thus duplicated are examined, a substantial agreement is indeed found, but not absolute identity, and the differences are sometimes such as cannot be accounted for by a more or less accurate rendering of an assumed Aramaic original.

In the case of the 17 passages found only in Mt. or Lk. , some are obviously duplicates of sayings already recorded within these gospels, others have synoptic parallels in which the phrase does not occur, and others still are manifestly later glosses. While a priori there is no reason to question the possibility of a genuine utterance having been preserved only in one gospel, on examination the decidedly secondary character of all these seventeen instances becomes apparent.

Not only is Mt. 10:23 without a parallel in Lk. 12:11-12, but the whole section Mt. 10:17-25 predicting the sufferings of the apostles reflects a time when the missionary activity of the Church was still confined to Israel. The allegorical interpretation of the parable of the tares, found only in Mt. 13:37-41, shows the strong feeling against Antinomianism in the early Church but also the wisdom with which some of her leaders left the punishment of heretics for the Messiah when he should appear. It is generally recognised that the Evangelist wrote this commentary. On Mt. 16:13, see section 39. In Mt. 16:28 the 'Son of Man' coming in his kingdom has probably taken the place of 'the kingdom of heaven', as is suggested by Lk. 9:27, where 'the kingdom of God' is used, and Mk. 9:1, where it is expanded into 'the kingdom of God already come with power'. When Mt. 19:28-29 is compared with Lk. 18:29 and Mk. 10:29, it is clearly seen that each evangelist has modified the utterance or registered a peculiar tradition. While Lk. seems to be nearer the original, the omission of 'lands' is in harmony with his general attitude, and 'kingdom of God' is his synonym for the more idiomatic 'kingdom of heaven'. Instead of 'for the sake of the kingdom of heaven', Mk. has 'for my sake and for the gospel's sake, specifies the future blessings, and significantly adds 'with persecutions'; Mt. introduces the answer by v. 28 and has 'for my name's sake'.

If the 'sign of the Son of man' in Mt. 24:30a had formed a part of the original apocalypse, it is likely to have been preserved by Mk. and Lk. (see 41). The commentators have not yet discovered what the sign is. Was it a flame of fire (2 Thess. 1:8) or a cross? In either case, this additional feature would not be very old. On Mt. 25:31, see section 41. The statement of a fact (Mk. 14:1-2, Lk. 22:1-2) has been changed into a prediction in Mt. 26:2. Instead of 'for the sake of the Son of man' in Lk. 6:22, Mt. 5:11 has 'for my sake', but even this is a later addition.

When Lk. 12:8 is compared with Mt. 10:32 it is apparent that (cayco [kagoo] in the latter place is more original than the title, but also that the whole verse is secondary. Lk. 17:20-22 is not in harmony with what follows, and Paul, Wernle, and Holtzmann have rightly pointed out the disenchantment of the Church expressed in 17:22.

Julicher (Gleichnisreden Jesu, 2:288) recognises that Lk. 18:8b is a late addition similarly expressing the painful disappointment as regards the parousia. The beautiful comment, Lk. 19:10, may be this evangelist's tribute to Jesus, or an interpolation in this place as in Mt. 18:11. The exhortation, Lk. 21:34-36, is undoubtedly, as Wernle (Syn. Frage, 17) observes, the work of Lk. himself. Holtzmann thinks that Lk. 22:48 is also a creation of the evangelist and calls attention to its rhetorical character (HC, (2) 1901, p. 414). In Mt. 26:50 the text is scarcely sound, and the account of Judas' treason is of doubtful historicity (see JUDAS ISCARIOT, 7, 10). It is possible, however, that Lk. 22:48 goes back to an Aramaic original that conveyed the sense : 'Is it with a kiss that thou betrayest a man (bar-nasha)?'. And Mt. 26:50 may originally have had as a variant 'Why dost thou betray (rrapei [parei] for irapaSiSws [paradidoos]) a friend?'

Two men in dazzling raiment, evidently angels, remind the women in Lk. 27:7 that Jesus had predicted the death and resurrection of the son of man. Addresses by angels do not belong to history. How little Lk. cared for mere verbal accuracy is seen in the fact that the quotation made by the angel does not quite correspond to any prediction recorded.

A study of these passages shows with what freedom sayings of Jesus were certainly modified and apparently created.

If words occurring only in one gospel are naturally somewhat more open to suspicion than those found in two or three, it must be remembered, on the other hand, that the presumption in favour of genuineness does not necessarily increase by duplication, as it may only imply the copying of one evangelist by another or the use of a common source. The reliability of any saying must then ultimately depend upon the general trustworthiness of the document where it first appeared or the current of tradition it registered.

To assume, as many scholars do, that the evangelical tradition has been preserved in its purity in Mk. is to draw a very rash conclusion from the doubtful theory of Mk.'s priority. The fact that no passage containing the phrase is found in Mk. that is not also found in Mt., or Lk., or both, only shows that Mk. remained free from some of the later additions to the other synoptics. It often happens, however, that it is the text of higher age and greater prestige that because of its wider use is most enriched in that way. Thus our best Greek MS of Ecclus. has the greatest number of interpolations, while far inferior MSS are relatively free from additions to the text (see Schmidt, 'Ecclesiasticus' in Temple Bible).

The evidence of later expansions of Mt. , most clearly presented by Hilgenfeld, is constantly increasing, and new indications of similar accretions to the original Lk. already suggested by Marcion's gospel, are forthcoming. The assumption that Mk.'s conception of Jesus attitude to the Messiahship was different from that of Mt. and Lk. and more historical can scarcely maintain itself after Wrede s criticism. As the prejudice in favour of Mk. , based on a shorter text and a supposed correcter view of Jesus career, is removed, and the different versions of each saying are compared and tested in their presumable Aramaic form, an impartial survey of the facts will show at once how far all the synoptics are from reflecting accurately the words of Jesus without losing touch altogether with the oldest tradition, and in what sense the earliest testimony as to the succession of these gospels, representing the order as Mt. , Mk. , and Lk., is to be accepted. It will then be seen that there are passages in Mt. and Lk. , not found in Mk., that may go back to original sayings of Jesus ; that the only passage found in Mk. and Lk. , but not in Mt. , cannot be regarded as authentic ; that there is no genuine saying preserved in Lk. that is not also found in Mt. ; that there are passages in Mk. as well as in Mt. and Lk. that are clearly of very late origin ; and that there are passages in Mk. as well as in Mt. and Lk. in which the phrase may go back to an original bar-nasha even after the episode at Caesarea Philippi.

Among the eight passages found only in Mt. and Lk., Mt. 8:20 (Lk. 9:58), 11:19 (7:34), and 12:32a (12:10a) probably go back to original utterances of Jesus (see section 38); 12:40 (11:30) is an interpolation particularly clumsy in Mt.; 24:27, 24:37, 24:39 (17:24, 17:26, 17:30) belong to the synoptic apocalypse (see section 41), and 29:44 (12:46) is recognised by Julicher (l.c. 21:42+) as a later gloss. Among the five found in Mk. and Mt., Mk. 9:8 (17:9) refers to the vision on the mountain. In Jesus lifetime, not even his most intimate disciples had had anything to relate concerning his luminous heavenly body. Did this necessarily exclude the possibility of a vision of this body before his death? Not to the minds of the evangelists, since they had accustomed themselves to the thought that Jesus had forbidden all such disclosures concerning himself before he should rise from the dead. This vision (opa.fj.a. [orama]) is thus an anticipation of the vision that spread the belief in his resurrection.

The Elijah question, Mk. 9:11-13 (Mt. 17 10-13), consequently had no connection originally with what precedes; the text in Mk. is late and confused (so also Wernle, l.c., 133), whilst that in Mt. is in good order and the conclusion may be a rendering of 'So must a man (^ 312) suffer by them', referring to John the Baptist. Mk. 10:45 (Mt. 20:28) comments retrospectively on the exemplification in the life and death of Jesus of the principle he has just laid down. Lk. 22:27-30 is a later and less valuable interpretation that curiously misunderstands the thought that Jesus wished to convey. Mk. 14:21b (Mt. 26:24b) occurs in an interpolation which breaks the connection between 14:18 and 14:22 (26:21a and 26:26) with an account that has been placed by Lk. at the end (22:21-23) and even there is probably unhistorical. The occurrence of the phrase in Mk. 14:41 (Mt. 26:45), not found in Lk. where the connection is better, is no doubt to be explained by the place Judas gained in Christian legend (so Wellhausen). (On Mk. 8:31 [Lk. 9:22], see section 40.)

Among the eight passages found in all the Synoptics, Mk. 2:10 (Mt. 9:6, Lk. 5:24) and Mk. 2:28 (Mt. 12:8, Lk. 3:5) probably go back to original utterances. Mk. 8:38 (Mt. 16:27, Lk. 9:26) is clearly a later addition, further transformed by Mk. and Lk. Mk. 9:31 (Mt. 17:22, Lk. 9:44) and Mk. 10:33 (Mt. 20:18, Lk. 18:31) is a prediction of his death (see section 40). Mk. 13:26 (Mt. 27:30b, Lk. 21:27) belongs to the Synoptic apocalypse (see 41). Mk. 14:21 (Mt. 26:24a, Lk. 22:22) belongs to the interpolation considered above. The absence of disciples witnessing the scene, the conflict with judicial practice, the absurdity of the false testimony, the failure to produce any statement that a Jewish court could have construed into blasphemy, and the contradictions and evident Christian colouring render it extremely difficult to believe in the historical character of the trial before the Sanhedrin (cp. SYNEDRIUM). In Mt. 26:64, Jesus answers the question whether he is the Messiah 'thou sayest it', in Lk. 22:69 'ye say that I am'. The plain import is 'You say that I am the Messiah, but I have made no such statement, so firm is the conviction that he guarded his secret to the end. They felt justified only in ascribing to him a covert reference to the Messiah in the third person and with the secret name. Mk. (14:62) lacks some of the expressions in Mt. and Lk., hut departs widely from the earlier tradition by making Jesus acknowledge his Messiahship. Cp the searching criticism of Brandt (Ev. Gesch. 53+).

Results of Philological Approach[edit]

38. Genuine sayings during Galilean period.[edit]

In view of this indispensable literary criticism, it is of no small importance that it is possible by turning the Greek logia into the vernacular of Jesus to obtain some sayings at once so different from prevailing conceptions of the early Church and so bold and original as to raise the strongest presumption in favour of their genuineness. Such are, in the first place, Mt. 9:6 and 12:8 (and parallels), found in all the synoptics. In the former case the question is debated whether a man has a right to assure another man that his sins are pardoned. The Pharisees maintain that God alone can pardon sin. They probably regarded absolution in the name of God as a priestly function. There is no evidence that the Jews expected the Messiah to forgive sins, and no intimation that Jesus looked upon this as a privilege to be exercised only by himself. On the contrary, he enjoins his disciples to use this power (Mt. 18:18). Such a simple assurance of forgiveness, flowing from a living faith in a heavenly father's love, was to Jesus no sacerdotal act. Any man had a right to extend it.

In Mt. 12:8 the generic meaning is equally clear. The disciples having eaten corn as they passed through the field, are accused of breaking the sabbath. Jesus defends them by quoting the example of David, who ate of the shewbread, which, according to the law, he had no right to do, and gave his followers permission to do so. The point is not that David and his 'greater son' may take liberties with God's law which would be wrong for others, but clearly that so godly a man as David recognised that the sustenance of life was in God s eyes more important than the maintenance of the cult. Lest this should be misunderstood, he adds another argument. The law permits the priests to work on the sabbath, thus regarding the commanded cessation of labour as less important than the maintenance of divine worship. The thought is not that he and his had priestly rights, for they had none, and Jesus had no interest in the sacrificial cult, as the next statement shows. But even from the standpoint of the law there were things more important than the enjoined cessation of work. Man was not made for the sabbath, but the sabbath for man; therefore man is also lord of the sabbath. This conclusion alone is relevant to the argument. If it were necessary to prove that the Messiah might break the law or authorise his disciples to do so, how could so startling a proposition be established by the general consideration that the sabbath was made for man's sake? There is indeed no evidence that the Jews expected the Messiah to violate or abrogate the divinely given law. The very suggestion would probably have produced a shock. If Jesus really desired to convince his hearers that the Messiah had a right to dispense from obedience to the law and that he was the Messiah, he must have understood that what was needed for that purpose was a reference to a recognised Messianic passage ascribing such powers to the Messiah or a firmly-rooted tradition to this effect, and a straightforward presentation and vindication of his claims, all the more necessary if he did not wish his Messiahship to be taken in a political sense. Were it possible that the Aramaic word he used for 'Son of man' could have been interpreted as a Messianic title, the impression left on the Pharisees would still have been that he had defended law-breaking on the ground that the lower, the sabbath, must yield to the higher, man, and had made such a sweeping application of a general principle, true enough in certain circumstances, as would allow any man to set aside any ordinance of God.

'The foxes have holes, and the birds of the heavens have nests, but a man has nowhere to lay his head' (Mt. 8:20) may be a proverb quoted by Jesus or an epigram coined on the spot. In either case the scribe no doubt saw the hint quickly. Man's life is full of danger and uncertainty. Where will he reside tomorrow ? Nature cares for the beasts ; they are not driven from home and hearth for their convictions. The thought probably never occurred to the scribe that this Galilaean teacher had in the same breath announced himself as the Messiah, and complained that though he was so great a man he neither owned a house nor had a lodging-place.

The enemies of Jesus charged him with performing his cures by the aid of Beelzebub. In this he saw a blasphemy, because he felt that his success in curing the sick was due to a divine spirit that possessed him. Yet he was careful to distinguish between an attack upon a fellow-man and a denunciation of the spirit operating through him. Therefore he says, 'If any one speaks against a man, that may be pardoned, but he that speaks against the Holy Spirit can have no pardon' (Mt. 12:32). No person in the audience could have understood him to say: 'You may blaspheme the Messiah with impunity, but not the Holy Ghost', the distinction is clearly between the divine spirit and the human instrumentality.

Wellhausen prefers the reading in Mk. 3:28-29 and assumes that a misunderstanding arose through the original reading in Lk. 12:10 which, on the basis of the absence of \6yov [logon] in Marcion, he translates into Aramaic and renders 'all that is said by man' (Xw ^D 1 ? TCN T *?D). This is an ingenious suggestion; but an omission on the part of Mk. seems more probable than such a misapprehension. For, whether the words were uttered by Jesus or not, they seem to have originated in some such reflection as we find in 1 S. 2:25.

In Mt. 11:19 Jesus may be rightly represented as having said 'John comes neither eating nor drinking and they say, He has a devil ; a man comes who eats and drinks and they say, Behold a glutton and a wine-bibber'.

39. The phrase not used at Caesarea-phillipi.[edit]

The account in Mt. 16:13-20 of Jesus' question to the disciples giving occasion for Peter's confession has manifestly suffered by later expansions. Such is the pontifical diploma presented to Peter in vv. 17-19. Such also the addition 'the Son of the Living God' in v. 16. In v. 13 a second question has been preserved in Syr. Sin. Namely, 'Who is this Son of man?' added to the first, 'What do men say concerning me?'. 'This may perhaps be put to the account of the Syriac translator (so Schmiedel). But it is also possible that 'Who is this man (bar-nasha)?' is a gloss already in the Aramaic, leading the later glossator to introduce by contrast the title of Christ s divinity. It is evident that the interpolator lived at a period when the supremacy of the Roman See was being established. At that time the term 'Son of man' would be understood to denote the human nature as distinct from the divine. Apart from these additions, Mt. seems to have preserved an earlier text than Mk. 8:27+ and Lk. 9:18+. Desirous to proclaim the coming of the kingdom of heaven in Jerusalem also, Jesus apparently hesitated on the ground that it might be taken as a political movement. Hence, the question as to what men thought of him. If the answer was reassuring so far as the people were concerned, seeing that they looked upon him as a prophet and not as an aspirant to Messiahship, he had to reckon also with the attitude of his own disciples. When Peter, utterly misunderstanding the question as to their views, took the occasion to express his own hope, Jesus was obliged to 'command the disciples that they should not say to any man that he was the Messiah', as it is emphatically put in Mt.

40. Basis of predictions of death and resurrection.[edit]

According to Mk. 8:31 (Lk. 9:22) Jesus announced his death and resurrection after three days immediately upon Peter's confession. Of this Mt. knows nothing. The first reference to the sufferings of the Son of man are found in Mk. 9:12 (Mt. 17:12). But here it is probable that the original Aramaic conveyed the sense 'so must a man (bar-nash) suffer by them'. For 'the disciples understood that he spoke to them concerning John the Baptist', v. 13. Later, this would naturally be misunderstood as a reference to himself. The original form of Mk. 10:45 (Mt. 20:28) may have been 'Man has not come (sc. into the world) to be served, but to serve'. When this was applied to Jesus, the dogma of the 'ransom' seems to have been added.

In Clem. Hom. 12:29 (ed. Schwegler) Peter quotes the following words of Jesus : ra ayafla eA0eii> Sti, /na/capto? 6e $r)<n, SC 011 epxerai i/iouuf Kai TO. KO.KO. avdyiai t\8flv, oval e Si ov epxerai. The work in which this is found probably dates from the reign of Marcus Aurelius (161-180); cp Hilgenfeld, Clem. Recog. and Hom., 1848, p. 305+, ZWTh., 1869, p. 353, Einl. p. 42. The same saying is reported by Aphraates: 'good is sure to come and it is well with him through whom it comes; evil also must come, but woe to him through whom it comes' (5:1, ed. Graffin). Aphraates used Tatian's Diatessaron. The generic sense of bar-nasha in each part of this section, naturally enough applied to Jesus and Judas in Mk. 14:41, Mt. 26:24, Lk. 22:22, was consequently still preserved in the middle of the second century.

Of the two passages found in all the synoptics, Mk. 9:31 (Mt. 17:22, Lk. 9:44 ) and Mk. 10:33 (Mt. 20:18, Lk. 18:31), the latter furnishes a more natural situation. That Jesus cannot have predicted in detail his death and resurrection after three days or on the third day, is evident to all critical students. But the difficulty of suppressing the political hopes of his followers and the prejudices and opposition he was sure to encounter in Jerusalem may well have filled his mind with forebodings of evil. He fell back, however, upon the conviction that the highest good, the kingdom of heaven, would come, and that it would be well with any man who assisted in its coming and suffered for its sake. He no doubt believed in a resurrection of the dead, although his idea seems to have been nearer the Essene than the Pharisaic conception. As Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had been raised out of death into an eternal life with God, so he expected to be raised, Mt. Mk. 12:13+ (22:23+, Lk. 20:20+). This hope he may have expressed by some such word as 'man must pass away but he will rise again'. Even this would be improbable, if Pfleiderer were right in assuming that Jesus cherished no doubts as to the outcome of his mission to Jerusalem.

Considering Lk. 22:36 as a genuine saying of Jesus, Pfleiderer (New World, 1899, p. 431+) concludes that, as he ordered his disciples to buy swords, probably to defend themselves against hired assassins, he cannot have gone to Jerusalem with the 'purpose of dying there as a sacrifice for the sin of the world, but of contending and conquering'. It might be said that, if he advised his followers to arm themselves, the thought of danger and death must have been present with him. But it is exceedingly improbable that he ever gave any such counsel. If he had actually urged his followers to sell their very garments in order to purchase swords, without explaining his purpose, he must have contemplated a coup d'etat and there would have been plenty of swords at his disposal, but there would have been a certain disingenuousness in his rebuke, Mt. 26:52, so thoroughly in harmony with the doctrine of non-resistance he had preached, since he was himself responsible for the presence of the sword and the notion that it would be an urgent necessity.

The earlier tradition in Mt. and Mk. knows nothing of such a command given by Jesus ; but it preserved the fact that one of the disciples had drawn a sword and cut off a man's ear. How was this sword to be accounted for? Jesus had ordered it. For what purpose? Lk. 22:27 gives the answer, 'This which is written must be accomplished in me, "And he was reckoned with the lawless".'

Jesus, of course, did not go to Jerusalem in order to die, but to proclaim the good news of the kingdom. Nevertheless he no doubt realised the dangers of the situation and only put his life into jeopardy because he deemed it necessary for the accomplishment of his work, sustained the while by the hope that the kingdom of heaven would come in the world and to himself a share in the resurrection from the dead.

41. The Synoptic Apocalypse.[edit]

In Mk. 13:5-32 'the Son of man' occurs only once; in Mt. 24:4-36 five times, and in Lk. 21:8-36 twice.

Mk. 13:26 (Mt. 24:30b, Lk. 21:27), which is alike in all the synoptics, has no doubt been drawn from the last apocalypse. Before it Mt. introduces the term twice - viz., in 24:27 which is also found in Lk. 17:24 and in 24:30a which has no parallel. The second occurrence in Lk. (21:36) is also without a duplicate; while Mt. 24:37, 24:39 correspond to Lk. 17:26, 17:30.

If the passage which the three gospels have in common was the first in the original apocalypse that referred to the Son of man, it may well be that it conveyed the meaning, 'they shall see a man coming on the clouds of heaven', and he will, etc. If Mt. 24:27 actually preceded it, this sense would not be possible ; but there is no certainty that the original has been reproduced exactly or in order. Until further discoveries shall have been made, it will remain most probable that 'the man' was first introduced as 'a man', as in En. 46 and 4 Ezra 13. This apocalypse may not originally have been put upon the lips of Jesus. When its fragments once secured a place in the synoptic gospels, the influence upon the conception of the term 'Son of man' must have been profound. If even 6 I io? TOV avOpuwov [o uios tou anthroopou] to persons familiar with Aramaic might still have conveyed the sense of bar-nasha (see section 36), the man coming with the clouds or appearing as a lightning flash was too plainly the celestial being described in Dan. 7:13 to be considered as referring to man in general. A new mode of thought was naturally given to familiar utterances. It was this heavenly man who had been without a home on earth, who had authority over the sabbath and the right to pardon sins, who had suffered at the hands of men and predicted his advent in glory and power. The title was substituted for the personal pronoun ; old sayings were modified, new ones formed. Where Jesus had spoken of the kingdom of heaven whose coming he expected, the Church spoke of the Son of man for whose coming she eagerly looked. Among the new creations none is grander than the judgment scene in Mt. 25. Its chief significance lies not so much in the fact that the judge identifies himself with his brethren, or that the nations are judged by their treatment of the Christians, as in the fact that they are judged exclusively by moral tests : men s eternal welfare is determined by their unconscious goodness in dealing with their humblest fellow-men.

An indication of the date of the synoptic apocalypse in its Christian form may be found in the circumstance that it follows in Mt. immediately upon a passage that in all probability belonged to the Eo/ia Tou eEou [sophia tou theou], as Strauss has shown (ZWTh. 1863, p. 84+). This 'Wisdom of God' cannot have been written long before the end of the first century, as it contains an allusion to the murder of Zechariah b. Barachia during the siege of Jerusalem (cp Jos. BJ 4:5:4 [335, 343]).

42. Gospel according to Hebrews.[edit]

Jerome (Vir. 3:2) affirms that in the Gospel according to the Hebrews, which he had translated into Greek and Latin, the statement was made that Jesus after his resurrection 'took bread, blessed, brake, and gave it to James the Just, saying, "my brother, eat thy bread, for the Son of man (filius hominis) has risen from those that sleep." Hilgenfeld (ZWTh. , 1899) thinks that the Aramaic phrase translated by Jerome was b'reh de-nasha.

It would be interesting, in all these circumstances, to know what Aramaic term Jerome found in his gospel, and of utmost importance if it could be proved that the copy he saw in the library at Caesarea was a faithful transcript of the Gospel written by Matthew. In its original form, the Gospel according to the Hebrews may indeed have been of very high age, and have served as a basis for the first Greek gospel. That it was nameless, as Handmann thinks (Heb. Ev., 1888, p. 115), is not probable. The most natural supposition is that it was ascribed to Matthew. Whether such a tradition was correct, may be doubted. But, like all other gospels, it undoubtedly underwent many changes; and this particular pericope, at least in the form represented by Jerome, can scarcely have had a place in the first draft.

As b'reh de-nasha apparently was not used by Palestinian Christians, b'reh de-gabra is more probable. But it may even be questioned whether Jerome wrote filius hominis, as Gregory of Tours quotes the words: 'Surge, Jacobe, comede, quia jam a mortuis resurrexi' (Hist. Franc. 1:21).

43. Marcion's gospel.[edit]

It is the merit of Lietzmann to have called attention to the fact that outside of the NT the phrase occurs for the first time in Marcion, and was used by different Gnostic schools. Marcion's gospel seems to have had this term in the same places as the canonical Lk., except that 7:29, 7:35, 11:30-32, 18:8, 18:31-34 were not found in his gospel.

From Marcion's acquaintance with it, Lietzmann draws the conclusion that it originated in Asia Minor before the year 90 A.D. It is not apparent why this year should have been chosen. Harnack's conjecture (Chron. 298+) is based on an obscure and manifestly corrupt passage in Clement of Alexandria. Lipsius placed Marcion's birth at least twenty years later, and his arrival in Rome in 143/4 (ZWTh., 1867, p. 75+). Tertullian's statement that Marcion was the son of a bishop is scarcely more reliable than that of Megethius, that he was himself a bishop (cp Meyboom, Marcion en de Marcionieten, 34+). But, apart from this, there is no evidence that Marcion as a child was familiar with the gospel he quoted in Rome in the time of Pius (cp also Hilgenfeld, Ketzergesch. 329-330).

44. Use of term by Gnostics.[edit]

According to Irenaeus (Adv. haer. 1:30:1-31:2) the Gnostics called the primeval light, the father of all things, UptDros cLvtipuiros [prootos anthroopos] (primus homo), and the first thought (evvoia [ennoia]) emanating from him Aei repos dvOpuiros [deuteros anthroopos] (secundus homo), or vibs dvOpunrov [uios anthroopos] (filius hominis). This vibs dvOpiavov [uios anthroopos] was not, however, identical with the Christ who, in their opinion, was the offspring of 'the 'first man' and 'the second man' with the holy spirit, while the man Jesus, son of Yaldabaoth and the Virgin Mary, was conceived of as the earthly tabernacle in which the Christ took up his abode. Hippolytus (Philosophumena, 5:6-11, 10:9) reports that the Naasenes ([rrt: = serpent), or Phrygian Ophites, also worshipped the 'man' (dvOpujros [anthroopos]), and the 'Son of man' (t>( 6s dvOpunrov [uios anthroopou]) as a unity of father and son, the father probably being designated as Adamas (CIN)-

In the Evangeliiun Mariae, a Gnostic work earlier than Irenaeus, the highest being is called II puiT<ifOpi>nros [prootanthroopos] (cp K. Schmidt, SBAW, 1896, p. 843-844), and in a somewhat later form of this Gnosis the 'Man of light', Adamas, occurs (id. in TU 8:297, 8:309+, 8:658) ; and the perfect and true man (hominem perfectum et verum) called Adamas, belongs to the circle of divine beings manifesting Barbelo, the father and the son, in the thought of the Barbelo-Gnostics (Iren. 1:29). When the 'Heavenly Dialogue', quoted by Celsus in his 'True Word' (about 177 A.D.), declared that the Son of Man (6 vibs TOV av-(tpiutrov [o uios tou anthroopou]) was mightier than a god (Origen, Contr. Cels. 8:15), this god was no doubt Yaldabaoth whom his mother, Sophia, had to rebuke by a reminder that above him were 'the father of all, the first man, and the man, "the son of man",' according to Irenaeus. Valentinus also gave the first place in the pleroma to the irpotav ai dpunros [prooon anthroopos] (Clement, Strom, 2:836), and Monoimos represented the divinity as man, and in so far as it is revealed, as 'Son of man' (see Grill, l.c., 355).

The evident kinship between the Ophite system and the thought ascribed to Simon of Gitta, renders it not improbable that the founder of the movement already was familiar with these designations for the highest beings. His saying in regard to the divine manifestation as son in Judaea, as father in Samaria, and as holy spirit in the other nations (Philos. 6:19) is most readily understood in harmony with whatever else is known of his views, if it is assumed that he asserted the divinity of man on the basis of the acknowledged humanity of God, finding in Judaism, Samaritanism, and paganism, in Jesus, himself, and Helena, manifestations of that divinely human life symbolised by the already extant figures of 'the man', 'the Son of man', and the feminine spirit in the pleroma.

That the Ophites existed before Christianity, their doctrine being a mixture of Egyptian and Jewish ideas, has been suggested by Baur (Christliche Gnosis, 194+ [1835]), by Lipsius, who preferred to think of Syrian rather than Egyptian influences as preponderating (ZWTh., 1863, p. 718-719), and by Lietzmann, who quotes Philaster, 1:1, as showing, that 'they argued their heresies before the coming of Christ'. Lietzmann, however, is of the opinion that 'man' as a divine name can only have originated as a designation of the heavenly prototype of the Messiah appearing on earth, called even in early times 'the second man', though the term is actually found only in late Rabbinic writings, and that the Christian Ophites continued to use these titles, naturally adopting o i/ids rov avOpuwov [o uios tou anthroopos] for o devrepos tivOpuwos [o deuteros anthroopos]. But Grill is probably right in pointing out an Indian origin for this conception (l.c., 348+).

The Vedic Purusha - i.e., 'man' - is a. designation of the universe, the macrocosm being conceived after the analogy of the microcosm. A distinction is made, however, in Rig Veda 10:90 between Purusha as the absolute being, and Purusha as the firstborn, and for this derived primeval existence the term Narayana, 'the one like a man', 'the son of man' is used {Mahana royana - Upanishad, 11). Gnostic speculation is altogether likely to have been affected by this idea.

It is possible, too, that there was a basis in the mythical lore of Syria. Adam is not improbably the name of a Semitic divinity [cp OBED-EDOM]. The familiar motive of a father, a son, and a mother-goddess having issue by the son (cp Stucken, MVAG, 1902, 446+), reflecting as it does a very primitive form of domestic life, is certainly of mythical origin, and not the result of late philosophical speculation. The conception of the macrocosmic man and the celestial protoplast is earlier and more widespread than the significant names expressing it in Sanscrit sources, and rendered the introduction of similar terms easier. There seems to be no trace in Gnostic thought of the Jewish idea of the Messiah, and the Christ-idea has the appearance of being a later addition to a system already completed. The Gnostic 'Son of man' cannot be accounted for as growing out of the conception presented in the synoptics; rather is it possible that the Greek phrase, used in rendering the generic bar-nasha, lent itself to an interpretation akin to the Gnostic thought, seeing in Jesus an incarnation of a celestial 'Son of man'.

45. Use in Fourth Gospel.[edit]

Recent criticism of the Fourth Gospel has had a tendency to emphasise again its relations to Gnosticism. While the unhistorical character of the Gospel, its impregnation with Alexandrian, and particularly Philonic, thought, and its date toward the middle of the second century, have been rendered practically certain by the labours of many scholars, from Bretschneider to Holtzmann and the Revilles (see JOHN, SON OF ZEBEDEE), questions concerning earlier and later strata within the gospel, and the attitude of author or redactor to Gnostic thought, have assumed fresh importance during the last few years. How profoundly investigation on these points may affect the interpretntion of the 'Son of man' in Jn. is seen in the works of Fries, Kreyenbuhl, and Grill. Following the expansion-theory of Schweizer, to some extent adopted by Bousset and Harnack, in the more radical form given to it by Delff, rather than the source-theory of Weisse, Freytag, and Wendt, Fries (Det fjarde evangeliet, 1898; En koptiske evangelium, 1900) has independently elaborated a view according to which an earlier gospel by the presbyter John has been expanded by Cerinthus with interpolations, partly taken from the Gospel according to the Hebrews, partly consisting of his own philosophical speculations on the basis of the Philonian logos-doctrine. This theory leads him to consider 1:51, 3:13-14, 5275362, 8:28 and 13:31 as interpolations. Only 12:23, 12:34 he thinks it necessary to assign to the original gospel, but regards these as evidence that Jesus himself occasionally used the term. Soderblom has indicated his general agreement with this position (Jesu Bergs-predikan, 40 [1899]).

So much is sacrificed to Cerinthus, that 12:23, 12:34 might as well have been added. For 12:23 is practically identical with 13:31, and the statement offending the people in 12:34, that 'the son of man must be lifted up', is found not in 12:32 where Jesus says, 'If I am lifted up', but in 3:14 which is regarded as an interpolation. So far as the 'Son of man' passages are concerned, they must therefore, even on this view, be put to the account of a Gnostic philosopher, familiar with Philo's speculation, since the similarity of 6:27 to the Gospel according to the Hebrews does not extend to this phrase. The significant thing is that the parts which must be considered as most characteristic of the gospel are thus given by Fries to a Gnostic. Fries may be right in pointing out a probable use of a Greek translation of the Gospel according to the Hebrews. That the author to whom we owe the gospel in substantially its present form, barring some transpositions indicated by Spitta and Bacon, and the appendix, used other sources than the synoptics is not im probable. But the freedom with which Mt. 26:64 has been modified in 1:51, and the passion-sayings have been transformed into predictions of glorification in 3:14, 8:28, 12:23 and 13:34, suggests the extreme difficulty of ascertaining the exact language and historical worth of any such sources through the chiaroscuro of his thought.

If Fries fell back upon the opinion of the ancient Alogi that Cerinthus had had something to do with this gospel, Kreyenbuhl (Das Evangelium der Wahrheit, 1900) has maintained that the present gospel is the work of Menander of Kapparetaea, the disciple of Simon, and contemporary of Ignatius, in a work equally marked by learning, critical acumen, and sympathetic insight. In accordance with this view he holds that 'Son of man' in Jn. is intended to be understood not as an exclusive self-designation of Jesus, but rather as a term applying to 'man', 'any man', jeder Christenmensch, Menander speaking out of his Christian consciousness of being a saviour sent by the aeons into the world (l.c. 437+; cp Irenceus, Adv. haer. 1:23:5).

It is difficult for the present writer to believe that the slender foundation in Justin and Irenaeus will bear the weight of so heavy a structure.

Menander may indeed have conceived of himself as having come into the world to redeem men from ignorance, and it is barely possible that he regarded himself as a manifestation of the celestial man. But the natural impression is certainly that in Jn. Jesus is represented as speaking solely of himself when he uses the term 'Son of man'; and no recourse to the vernacular of Jesus does here, as in the case of the synoptics, suggest a different and universal significance. Particularly important is 6:53, where it seems just as impossible that Menander could have spoken of the appropriation of his own flesh and blood, or of the flesh and blood of man in general, as that Jesus should have used such words. Here the reference is evidently to the Eucharist, and the Son of man is Jesus whose body and blood the Church regarded itself as appropriating in the sacrament, and whose life-giving words the author deemed of supreme value.

The interpretation of Jn. 6:35 from the view-point of the author s symbolical idealism by J. Reville (Le quatrieme evangile, 178+ [1901]) is more satisfactory than the present writer s assumption of a strong opposition to sacramentalism (JDL, 1892, p. 20). It may be justifiable to infer that in some circles, 'to eat the flesh and to drink the blood of the Son of Man' had developed into a liturgical formula, and this would show how little Christians hesitated to use this supposed self-designation of Jesus. It is the merit of Kreyenbuhl to have greatly strengthened the impression that this gospel contains a certain type of Gnostic thought. in view of the fact that practically all the OT, tl Apocrypha, and the Pseudepigrapha are either anony mous or pseudonymous writings, it is time that the eager desire to fasten the authority of the Fourth Gospel upon some person mentioned in Early Christian Literature should be put at rest. Grill (l.c.) rightly contents himself with tracing the gospel idea of the incarnation (that does not go back to Philo) through Gnosticism to its source in Indian speculation, and he interprets the phrase as designating the celestial 'Son of man' who has become a 'man'.

Wendt is probably right in regarding avOoiairov [anthroopou] after vtbs [uios] in 6:27 as a later addition (Das Johannesevangelium, 121-122 [1900]). In 3:13 the words 6 uiv iv TW ovpavw [o oon en too ouranoo] should not be removed from the text on the ground of their absence in BSL, but emended into o iav ef ovparov [o oun ex ouranou], as Sin. Syr. has men shemaya. ; and in 9:35, not only BDS but also Sin. Syr. and Eth. have 'Son of man'. In 12:34 the 'Son of man' is not merely an equivalent of the Messiah (so JBL, 15:39). The assumption is that Jesus claims to be the Messiah ; but the reference to a removal from earth renders it possible to doubt whether the mysterious title 'Son of man' does not have a different meaning.

46. Effect on question of Jesus' Messiahship.[edit]

When it is recognised that o i/idj TOU dvOpuirov [o uios tou anthroopou] is the translation of an Aramaic bar-nasha, that this term cannot, on philological grounds, have been used as a self-designation since it naturally conveyed only the idea of 'man' in general, and that this generic use is most suitable in all instances where there is reason to suppose that a genuine utterance is found, the opinion that Jesus regarded himself as the Messiah loses its strongest support. There are indeed passages in which the underlying assumption seems to be that Jesus claimed for himself the Messiahship without using the name. Keim (Jesu von Nazara, 2:376) enumerates as such Mt. 9:15, 11:3, 11:13, 12:3, 12:41-42, 13:17; Beer regards Mt. 9:15 as decisive ('Enoch' in Kautzsch, Pseudepigrapha, 232); Wendt (l.c., 178+) instances Mk. 11:27+, 12:35+, Mt. 11:25+. But in Mt. 9:14+ the justification of fasting by the departure of the bridegroom, and of the non-fasting in Jesus lifetime (cp Mt. 11:18), by the presence of the bridegroom, is as clearly a vaticinium ex eventu (Volkmar) as the words concerning the garments and the wineskins are unmistakably genuine (see Holtzmann, Synoptiker, (3) 55).

In Mt. 11:3 Jesus is asked by John the Baptist, through his disciples, whether he is the coming one. Jesus not only does not answer the question, but deliberately turns the attention away from himself to his work, described in language borrowed from Is. 29:18-19, 35:56, and culminating in the proclamation of good tidings to the poor. It is the view men have of the kingdom of heaven that concerns him ; on this point Jesus considered John's conceptions to be as defective as those of Moses and the prophets (Mt. 11:12-13). 1 The 'sign of Jonah' is the preaching of repentance to the Ninevites ; but Jesus felt that his proclamation of the kingdom of heaven was of more importance than the announcement of judgment by the unwilling prophet (Mt. 12:41-42). If Mt. 13:17 is genuine, it expresses Jesus' conviction that the kingdom of heaven, prophesied of old, is coming, and his congratulation of his disciples for discerning its advent. But this does not harmonise with the lack of perception on their part, of which he elsewhere has to complain. 2 The parable of the vineyard (Mk. 12:1+) has been so thoroughly changed, under the hands of the evangelists (see Julicher, l.c. , 2:2:386, 2:2:405-406), that it is quite impossible to ascertain what the original utterance was in 12:35+.

If Mk. 12:35+ (Mt. 22:41+) is genuine, it is either an academic question concerning the Scriptural basis for the current assumption that the coming Messiah is to be a descendant of David, or a serious Scriptural vindication by Jesus of his claims to be the Messiah although he is not of Davidic descent. His general method of teaching renders it exceedingly improbable that he should have engaged in such a discussion simply to confute Pharisaic exegesis without anything of practical importance depending on the decision ; but if he really attached value to their accepting him as the Messiah without the demanded legitimisation, his reticence on the essential point whether he was the Messiah becomes wholly incomprehensible. It seems evident that this pericope is a defence of Jesus Messiahship, made by his disciples against Jewish attacks upon it on the ground that he was not a son of David - a defence made at a time when no one had yet thought of constructing the pedigrees now found in Mt. and Lk., both of which are very late. The critical estimate of these passages has not been influenced by the discussion of the term 'Son of man', and in almost all instances has been reached by scholars who believe on the basis of this title that Jesus regarded himself as the Messiah.

1 On Mt. 12:3, see 38.

2 On Mt. 11:25+, see SON OF GOD, 13.

47. Value of the different theories.[edit]

Although at first sight the result of recent investigations may seem to be wholly negative and to render valueless the long labours that have been expended upon the term, a closer examination will show that each new theory has tended to bring to view some aspect of the truth, and that the hypothesis that appears to explain satisfactorily most of the facts yields the richest returns for our knowledge of the life and teaching of Jesus. When Jesus declared that man is lord of the sabbath and has the authority to pardon sin, he no doubt thought of man as he ought to be as a child of the heavenly father; and thus there was in his mind an element of that ideal humanity which Herder emphasised. That he did not look upon himself as the absolutely perfect man only enhances his moral greatness. Other genuine utterances suggest that humble sense of fellowship with man and acceptance of man's lot which Baur rightly felt. Those who explained the term as a Messianic title were right in so far as the Greek gospels are concerned. But a correct feeling also led many scholars to the opinion that Jesus cannot have through this term accepted as his own the current Messianic ideal. That it served to hide the secret of his Messiahship was also true ; only it was not Jesus himself, but his disciples, who thus used it. Similarly, the term is likely to have suggested to early Christians a conception in which many heterogeneous elements were blended. The gradual elimination of the Fourth Gospel, the synoptic apocalypse, the manifestly secondary passages containing the phrase, as the literary character of the gospels became more truly appreciated, was of utmost importance. Only on the basis of such careful criticism could the resort to the vernacular be of any value.

While no process of criticism can restore the ipsissima verba of Jesus, an approximation may be possible. For the work of retranslation knowledge of the linguistic material is necessary, and also philological insight. The attempts to explain the use of the term in passages that are rejected have been of much value, since they are utterances of early Christians whose thought, intrinsically important, has exercised a paramount influence in the world. In their interpretation it is both legitimate and necessary to seek for light in the mythical and legendary lore of the epoch. The more marked the difference between the thoughts revealed in the Aramaic translations of the Greek sayings, the more difficult is it to explain them by the conceptions known to prevail among the Greek gospel-writers; the more original and valuable the obtained utterances, the stronger is also the presumption that they come from a great personality whose historical existence thereby becomes assured and whose tremendous influence can be appreciated. If he ceases to be what he so earnestly enjoined upon his disciples not to say that he was, a king to be ministered unto, he becomes more truly than ever what he would be, a son of man ministering to the sons of men.

48. Bibliography.[edit]

The most important literature before the nineteenth century is indicated in the works of Scholten, Appel, and A. Meyer. The term is discussed in every Life of Jesus, New Testament Theology, and Bible Dictionary. All important contributions in recent times have been referred to in the course of this article.

N. S.




(Dpj5, {J WO, etc.. MANreyOMeNH). See DIVINATION, 2 [1-2, 4], etc., and cp MAGIC, 3.


(VJ/OOMION [psoomion]), Jn. 13:26+, a fragment or morsel ; cp ycoMOC. [psoomos] LXX. in Judg. 19:5 ( LXX{AL} KA&CMA [klasma] Ruth 2:14 [for d3]). See MEALS, 10.