Re: [b-greek] Re: Son of Man

From: Jonathan Robie (
Date: Wed Aug 23 2000 - 09:53:24 EDT

At 11:13 AM 8/23/00 +0000, James Crossley wrote:<br>
<blockquote type=cite cite>Apologies for continuing this thread but I felt something needed to be said concerning Casey's view of the Son of Man problem.&nbsp; Bearing in mind the warning about moving too far a way from the concerns of biblical Greek I will restrict the following comments to the effects on the Greek text.</blockquote><br>
Personally, I find several recent messages on this thread to be both interesting and relevant - we're actually talking about the text, which makes the messages useful.<br>
<blockquote type=cite cite>Buth wrote that Casey's view of the Aramaic 'son of man' involves a reference to 'somebody/anybody'.&nbsp; This is true but we should not overlook the fact that Casey's view also includes a reference to the speaker.&nbsp; This can help explain why some of the synoptic sayings can be read as a title in Greek but without explicit reference to Daniel 7:13, Mt.&nbsp; 8:20/&nbsp; Lk.&nbsp; 9:58 for example.<br>
Taking Casey's view for the moment,&nbsp; when such Aramaic sayings are translated into Greek we are already on the way to a title of some sort,&nbsp; <br>
not least because *ho huios tw anthrwpou* does not function as a Greek idiom.&nbsp; With such a strange saying where better than Scripture to find the explanation!&nbsp; Daniel 7:13 was perfect for the early church.&nbsp; This can help explain why texts such as Mark 13:26 include a titular use of *ho huios tw anthrwpou* with explicit reference to Daniel 7.</blockquote><br>
I'm just beginning to think about this, so this is pure unscholarly speculation, but...<br>
In the Gospel of John, EKEINOS and hOUTOS sometimes have a clear referent to Jesus, and act almost as a Johannine idiom for Jesus. But to say that either of these words actually means Jesus would be wrong, this is a specific, cryptic usage that is played to effect in John.<br>
In the LXX, many uses of &quot;the son of man&quot; are in apposition to &quot;man&quot;, and seem to be used for rhetorical effect. In fact, up to Ezekiel, this is the only use of &quot;son of man&quot; that I see. Excuse the English, but I didn't want to type in the Greek for all of these. I checked a little less than half of them to make sure that the relevant phrases are reflected in the LXX:<br>
<font face="Times New Roman, Times">Numb 23:19 (NASB) &quot;God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? <br>
Job&nbsp; 25:6 How much less man, [that] maggot, And the son of man, [that] worm!&quot; <br>
Job&nbsp; 35:8 &quot;Your wickedness is for a man like yourself, And your righteousness is for a son of man. <br>
Psal 8:4 What is man, that Thou dost take thought of him? And the son of man, that Thou dost care for him? <br>
Psal 80:17 Let Thy hand be upon the man of Thy right hand, Upon the son of man whom Thou didst make strong for Thyself. <br>
Psal 144:3 O Lord, what is man, that Thou dost take knowledge of him? Or the son of man, that Thou dost think of him? <br>
Isai 51:12 &quot;I, even I, am He who comforts you. Who are you that you are afraid of man who dies, And of the son of man who is made like grass; <br>
Isai 56:2 &quot;How blessed is the man who does this, And the son of man who takes hold of it; Who keeps from profaning the sabbath, And keeps his hand from doing any evil.&quot; <br>
Jere 49:18 &quot;Like the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah with its neighbors,&quot; says the Lord, &quot;no one will live there, nor will a son of man reside in it. <br>
Jere 49:33 &quot;And Hazor will become a haunt of jackals, A desolation forever; No one will live there, Nor will a son of man reside in it.&quot; <br>
Jere 50:40 &quot;As when God overthrew Sodom And Gomorrah with its neighbors,&quot; declares the Lord, &quot;No man will live there, Nor will [any] son of man reside in it. <br>
Jere 51:43 &quot;Her cities have become an object of horror, A parched land and a desert, A land in which no man lives, And through which no son of man passes. <br>
</font>Ezekiel uses the phrase quite differently - God often refers to Ezekiel as &quot;son of man&quot;:<br>
<font face="Times New Roman, Times">Ezek 2:1 Then He said to me, &quot;Son of man, stand on your feet that I may speak with you!&quot; <br>
Ezek 2:3 Then He said to me, &quot;Son of man, I am sending you to the sons of Israel, to a rebellious people who have rebelled against Me; they and their fathers have transgressed against Me to this very day. <br>
Ezek 2:6 &quot;And you, son of man, neither fear them nor fear their words, though thistles and thorns are with you and you sit on scorpions; neither fear their words nor be dismayed at their presence, for they are a rebellious house. <br>
In Daniel, the phrase occurs twice. Once it might be taken as a title, but if you look at both occurrences, the titular view seems unlikely:<br>
<font face="Times New Roman, Times">Dani 7:13 &quot;I kept looking in the night visions, And behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, And He came up to the Ancient of Days And was presented before Him. <br>
Dani 8:17 So he came near to where I was standing, and when he came I was frightened and fell on my face; but he said to me, &quot;Son of man, understand that the vision pertains to the time of the end.&quot; <br>
</font>In Daniel 8:17, this clearly refers to the prophet, not to the one who is said to be &quot;like&quot; a Son of Man in Daniel 7:13. There is also a significant difference between Jesus' usage and Daniel 7:13 - Jesus talks about &quot;*the* Son of Man&quot;, not one who is *like* *a* Son of Man. If &quot;Son of Man&quot; means a human being, as it seems to in all the other LXX passages, then Daniel 7:13 does not commit itself to saying that the One who is brought before the Ancient of Days actually is a human being, it says only that he had a form like that of a human being.<br>
Jesus refers to himself as &quot;ton huion tou anqrwpou&quot; in all four gospels, on many occasions. This usage seems to be *none* of the usages above - Jesus adds the definite article, *the* Son of Man, and makes it clear that this refers to a specific individual.<br>
It is precisely this reference to one very specific individual, using a phrase that is quite generic, that reminds me of the use of EKEINOS / hOUTOS in John.<br>

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