Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Son of Man

Someone recently asked-I was wondering the bible calls Jesus son of man but also calls the prophet Ezekiel the same thing my question is why ?

Son of Man is an expression that is unique to the culture of the Hebrews, we call this an idiomatic expression. Daniel (8.17) and Ezekiel (2.1) as well as Jesus are called the Son of man. In the plural the term ‘Sons of Men’ occurs and means men of low and high estates- in other words all of humanity. When it is used in the singular, as it is in Ez. And Dan., it is used to emphasize the individual in the created order of things. It is a term of humility and debasement. During the intertestamental times the term gained some strong messianic meaning (compare Dan 7), so that by the NT times the term Son of Man is used of the Savior Jesus. By this term he invoked a humility and a representative status. As a representative of mankind he became savior- suffering for us, dying for us, and , now, interceding for us.


Paul M. Harrison said...

I had read that Jesus was given the title "Prince of Peace" and "King of Kings" and "Son of God" to counter the Roman emperors, like Augustus, who used these terms for themselves. Were these rhetorical titles for Jesus to present a cultural competition? Some liberal scholars have posed that even the virgin birth and ascension narratives were developed to counter the myths of the Roman emperors but weren't to be taken literally.

One friend answers that Satan went beforehand to counterfiet the titles of Jesus among emperors, just as the early apologists importing Greek philosophy into theology said God prepared the Greeks with this truth beforehand to prepare them for the Gospel. I never found this very convincing.

If you will lose your credentials, just give the safe answer ;)

Pastor Dave said...

Not exactly sure what you mean by "rhetorical titles". But the assumption that these titles are a reaction to the Roman governance isn't wholly correct. For instance, 'Son of God' is a title for the Messiah that long predates the Roman empire (2Sam 7.14, Ps 2, Ps 89, etc)so I would have to disagree regarding that title. I am unaware of any reference historically to the Magnate of Roman being called 'Prince of Peace'. King of Kings is, however, used (or variants of it) for many exalted rulers- from various backgrounds. However, in the case of other men these are hyperbole. While for Jesus of Nazareth they, each of them, are ultimately true. He best fulfills them all.