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December 11, 2013

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Son of man is an ambiguous term, as it can, of course, refer to the passage in Daniel, but it can also just mean "a person." It has several shades of meaning, and I think Jesus might have used this term often because it was such a broad term. We see in the gospels that if Jesus would have made certain claims outright, his life would have ended prematurely before he could inaugurate the kingdom, which was a central part of his ministry and life. This is also one of the reasons Jesus used parables so often. He liked to use indirect methods to communicate with people to force them to ponder and think.

and I think Jesus might have used this term often because it was such a broad term.

Might seem a broad term to you and I today, 2000 years later in our western culture setting, but for Jews of that day, the term "Son of Man" was in fact less broad and carried with it a specific meaning, that of the Son of Man reference to Daniel. So it is as Alistar and Sinclair say...

Also, it's not necessarily true that his life would have ended prematurely. Remember, Jesus said that no one takes his life from him; he laid it down of his own accord and had authority to pick it back up again (Jn. 10:18)

We see examples of this at the beginning of Jesus' ministry in Luke 4, when after reading from the scroll, he point blank tells the crowd that he was the fulfillment of that passage, and the end result of that conversation was that the crowd tried to kill him. But, he hid himself from them and eluded their grasp.

More could be written about parables as well, but I will curtail an already lengthy response...the overall point being Jesus was certainly not ambiguous about the claims he made about himself or who he was.

the term "Son of Man" was in fact less broad and carried with it a specific meaning, that of the Son of Man reference to Daniel.

It had a broader meaning than that. Just search "son of man" on Bible Gateway. It shows up all over the place. Ezekiel was called "son of man" multiple times, and he was just a prophet.

It had a broader meaning than that. Just search "son of man" on Bible Gateway. It shows up all over the place. Ezekiel was called "son of man" multiple times, and he was just a prophet.

Sigh...the OP specifically addressed this.

a, I think Begg and Ferguson are agreeing with Sam. As they mention at the end there, there are connections with "the creation of Adam, the ministry of Ezekiel, and the vision of Daniel." I didn't include all the details for all of them because the post would have become too long, but Christ is Prophet, Priest, and King, and there are elements of all these things in the title "Son of Man."

I disagree completely that son of man was not a broad term (in second temple Judaism, not in modern day America). We see in Rabbinical literature, obviously, that the Daniel passage was important. But we also see it used in a ton of other ways in second temple Judaism (in the literature we do have form the period). Even in Aramaic sources, son of man can just mean, "a person." In Torah, it can mean an angel as well (as interpreted by Rabbis in second temple Judaism in the period). The priest thing is there, too (in dead sea scroll commentaries). It's ambiguous for sure and would likely have had a shade of different meanings in the first century. You can look at more information on the term in Guelich's Word Biblical Commentary of Mark, and in any of N.T. Wright's books about Jesus usually (both of these will list out different meanings of sources where we see it used in Second Temple Judaism). I'm pretty sure, though, that when Jesus refers to the son of man coming on the clouds of heaven, that he's referring to Daniel passage. It's a direct quote. So in that case, he makes it clear by what he means with that term in the end: that he is the Messiah and will be vindicated in power and glory. Which is why he was killed.

a, I think Begg and Ferguson are agreeing with Sam. As they mention at the end there, there are connections with "the creation of Adam, the ministry of Ezekiel, and the vision of Daniel." I didn't include all the details for all of them because the post would have become too long, but Christ is Prophet, Priest, and King, and there are elements of all these things in the title "Son of Man."

I think we're all missing the point I'm making, or perhaps I'm missing the point you're making.

When I hear descriptors in this context such as "broad", etc., what I take from that is that you really mean when Jesus called himself "the Son of Man", he was really just saying it in a very general sense much as we might refer to ourselves in a general sense today and didn't mean anything by it. Perhaps I am mistaken about what you mean, then.

What I'm saying is that when Jesus used the term "the Son of Man", he did so with very specific intent, so that the hearer would understand that he was in fact THE Son of Man and not MERELY "a son with inherited traits" or just "a true man". He meant it so that his hearers would have clearly understood exactly what he was claiming to be.

And my other point is that from the OP, it appears that Alistair and Sinclair are making this same point.

a, that isn't what I meant. I agree with you that when Jesus called himself the Son of Man, he WAS alluding to that passage in Daniel. Whether he intended to carry additional meaning, I don't know. My point was simply that the phrase, "son of man" has a broader meaning in the old testament and to first century Jews than merely its use in that passage in Daniel. I think we agree with each other.

got it; thanks for the clarification then.

We are all Enoch. We are all Pharaoh.

That is to speak of evidence:

Time is no barrier to Timelessness.

Love's Ransom just is Love's Eternally Sacrificed Self and as such just does outreach all of our perceived obstacles, whether such be Place, Time, Education, Opportunity, or even Hell's Outside, or even a World itself, in all possible worlds.

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