Re: "a" or "the" ??

From: Nichael Lynn Cramer (
Date: Thu Mar 26 1998 - 07:41:11 EST

Allison Sanders wrote:
>[...] We were
>asked to write a brief paper discussing whether the centurion
>considered Jesus to be THE son of God, or A son of God in Mark 15:39.
>There is no definite article preceding hUIOS so that is wherein lies
>the diffciulty.

Hi Allison

Let me add two extra items to the excellent answers that you've alread

1] To my mind, this passage is best handled by the NRSV which translates
this as "Truly this man was God's son!" --thereby neating bridging both

2] But as to your specific question, as others have pointed out it is
simply a feature of the uncertainties of translation from Greek to English
that there is no "yes/no" answer to this question.

That said, the best answer I've ever got to exactly this question was from
an old teacher of mine who said that we should prefer reading "the son of
God" because it is simply inconceivable that Mark would have intended the
other, less strong meaning.

Nichael Cramer Gather the folks, tell the stories, break the bread. -- John Shea

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