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A Bit of a Shocker: Jesus and the Son of Man

In my previous post I began to talk about the phrase “the Son of Man” in the New Testament, in response to a question about Matthew 16:13-16. (See that post!)  I will get around to answering the question itself eventually, but for now I’m discussing the use of the phrase “Son of man” generally in the Gospels.  Yesterday I pointed out that Jesus uses it a lot, in a variety of ways.

Some scholars have claimed that since prior to Jesus, within Judaism, it was not a “title” for a person (that is, like “Son of God” or “Messiah” or “Lord” or “King” etc.), then it could not be a title when Jesus uses it.  I responded by saying that doesn’t make any sense, since the phrase *is* used as a title in the Gospels, so *someone* had to be the first to use it that way, and in principle there is no reason to say it could not have been Jesus.

Now I want to argue that Jesus did use it as a title, to refer to a specific being, a cosmic judge of the earth first mentioned in the Old Testament, in Daniel 7:13-14.  And here is the real shocker for most readers of the Bible:  when Jesus used it that way, he was not talking about himself.

It takes a bit of …

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Who Is the Son of Man? From the Blog Readers’ Mailbag

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Comments

  1. Avatar
    saavoss  August 10, 2020

    Can’t wait for the next post!

  2. Avatar
    brenmcg  August 10, 2020

    If Jesus talked about the son of man coming as a judge like a thief in the night, and Paul talks about the Lord coming as judge like a thief in the night, isn’t Matthew the missing link between the two?

    Matthew 24:42-44 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”

    • Bart
      Bart  August 12, 2020

      Not necessarily. There doesn’t have to be a literary connection; it could just be a common idea floating around among the early Christains, known to lots of people, including a couple of authors.

  3. Avatar
    JeffreyFavot  August 10, 2020

    Dr. Ehrman,

    If there’s one chapter of the Bible that has been a bedrock for my understanding of anthropology, it’s Romans 7. I think it’s the most truthful understanding of why humans do as they do. Even when “born again”. My question comes from how we understand Paul saying “I”, when he says “I do the things that I don’t want to do”, etc, etc. Do you think Paul was using “I”, in the sense of himself or not? Many have assumed that Paul was dealing with personal struggles with his flesh. Was there Greek philosophy at Paul’s time, that mimicked that same understanding about human behavior? Romans 7 & 8 changed me deeply when dealing with understanding my own personal struggles as a Christian.

    • Bart
      Bart  August 12, 2020

      It’s an unusually complicated passage, and almost impossible to read by moderns without imposing our own sense of self on it. A famous article on it was written by the highly respected Swedish scholar of the NT, Harvard Professor Krister Stendahl, Paul and the Introspective Conscience of the West. Highly recommended. He called seriously into question the modern reading (based on Luther) that it was all about Paul’s personal sense of guilt, and showed why it was really all about something else. Very much worth reading. Completely changed my mind about Paul’s understanding of his standing before God and the law of God.

  4. Avatar
    Judith  August 10, 2020

    Your fascinating book, Misquoting Jesus, makes such posts as these even more profound.

  5. Avatar
    tom.hennell  August 10, 2020

    And yet Bart;

    Lets take a pasage from Q, which is represented in Matthew and Luke. The promise to the twelve that they will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes, alongside the enthroned cosmic judge

    In Matthew 19:28 the cosmic judge is the ‘Son of Man’. In Luke 22:30 the cosmic judge is explicitly Jesus himself. But both gospel writers clearly interpret the pericope as referring the returned Jesus, not anyone else; and both rely on the same source.

    So, did the historical Jesus explain fully to the twelve that the judging ‘Son of Man’ they would be serving would be someone else, other than him? And the twelve then omitted to pass this lesson on to anyone else?

    Or maybe Jesus was always and consistently referring to someone else in these references to the Son of Man (even though all his other uses of ‘Son of Man’ are clear self-designations). and the twelve always and consistently misunderstood him; and Jesus always and consistently omitted to correct them?

    This is the problem with your theory I think; if naming the eschatolgical judge, ‘The Son of Man’ is Jesus’s invention, how were the twelve to understand him?

    • Avatar
      tom.hennell  August 12, 2020

      Bart; afraid I’m claiming two bites at the cherry here.

      But I have been reading back over your posts on this forum; and one question jumps out

      You propose that Jesus expected and taught that a cosmic judge would come from heaven; and that this judge would be a ‘son of man’. You further propose that although Jesus saw himself as a future messianic king, he did not expect to be this son of man; but rule alongside (or under) him.

      So; in your understanding, did Jesus expect the cosmic ‘son of man’ to be a human being?

      On the face of it a bizarre question; as the terms ‘human being’ and ‘son of man’ are almost wholly co-extensive. And, although the precise identity of the cosmic judge in Daniel 7:13 seems to have been a contested question; he was always understood as being human, as that is what the term ‘son of man’ means here. Equally with the cosmic judge called the ‘Elect One’ in the Book of Enoch; the text repeatedly emphasises that this visionary judge is always a ‘son of man’ (actually Enoch himself).

      But are you understanding Jesus as proposing a non-human ‘son of man’?

      • Bart
        Bart  August 13, 2020

        Yes, for Jesus the cosmic judge was a heavenly being (humans didn’t live in heaven), sent by God. And so probably a powerful, or the most powerful, angel (Michael, e.g.)

        • Avatar
          tom.hennell  August 14, 2020

          Now you have got me Bart; how can that be?

          ‘Son of man’ (bar nasha) is a descriptive Aramic term that always denotes a human being. It can commonly mean ‘the man’; or ‘someone’; or as a circumlocution, ‘myself’. It is used in Daniel 7:13, to denote the dream man elevated by God as cosmic judge of the nations. Later Jewish tradition came to understand this judge as being the King Messiah; as in Psalm 110:6.

          In none of these cases is ‘son of man’ used as a title; perhaps as Vermes says “because it was too commonplace”. Just as no one uses ‘The Human Being’ as a title in English. I understood you as proposing that, as an innovation, Jesus did adopt the term as a title for a man acting as cosmic judge. Which is a fair speculation, albeit lacking in parsimony; why import another man as judge, when Jesus himself would be judge and Messiah?

          But can you propose that a non-human person could be entitled ‘The Human Being’? This is a straight contradiction in terms. Can you quote any such use of ‘bar nasha’ in Aramaic?

          ,

          • Bart
            Bart  August 15, 2020

            No, I don’t think it is a term that describes a human being (who was merely a human being) always. Do you read it that way in 1 Enoch (the Similitudes) e.g.?

          • Avatar
            tom.hennell  August 16, 2020

            In respect of the Similitudes, the answer is clearly ‘yes’. There are three Ethiopic phrases here rendered as ‘son of man’: ‘walda sab’ 4 times = ‘son of man’; ‘walda be’si’ 4 times = ‘son of the male’; and ‘walda egala emma-hayew’ 8 times = ‘son of the child of the mother of all the living’. All these are terms for human beings. There are then three different demonstratives attached to these – not corresponding to the three phrases. Lacking a demonstrative is 71:14, where Enoch himself is finally revealed as the son of man, an identity possibly prefigured in Aramaic in the opening section of the Similitudes at 37:1. Otherwise, these uses are descriptive, not titular.

            Then, the Ethiopic is a more or less literal translation from Greek; which is likely a farily literal translation from Aramaic. So you might speculate an Ethiopic use, which is ‘human’; translating a Greek use, potentially ‘non-human’; translating an Aramiac use, strictly ‘human’ again. Or the other way round.

            But the double-meanings at 37:1 only work in Aramaic; which would confirm the human Enoch as ‘son of man’ ab initio.

    • Bart
      Bart  August 12, 2020

      Actually, I’ve long argued that verse shows that Jesus very much taught that he would be the future messiah of the coming kingdom. We don’t know what the twelve passed on to others. But we certainly know that decades later, living in different countries and speaking different a language, the Gospel writers have shifted in their understandings of much of Jesus’ teachings on critical issues.

      • NulliusInVerba
        NulliusInVerba  August 13, 2020

        Hmm, that “shift” might make an interesting post or two.

      • Avatar
        tom.hennell  August 13, 2020

        Thank you Bart; that is very helpful. So should I understand you as proposing that this passage in the triple tradition derives from a teaching of Jesus; in which he envisaged three ascending categories of cosmic judgement. Firstly, the Twelve would judge the 12 tribes of Israel; secondly, Jesus as Messiah would judge the nations; and thirdly, a ‘son of man’ who would be judge of all?

        Which might correspond to the schema of the Qumran community, in the ‘War Scroll’ and ‘Heavenly Prince Melchizedek’; where equivalent ascending categories might be seen as as the ‘Sons of Light’; the ‘Prince of the Congregation’; and the heavenly Michael/Melchizedek. The Michael/Melchizedek figure is essential to this, as the coming War will be both heavenly and earthly, and so a heavenly prince is needed to counter the demonic ‘Melkirisha’ and to vindicate the ‘Holy Ones of God’. Am I being fair in drawing the parallel?

        But the parallel fails for me; as Michael/Melchizedek cannot be a ‘son of man’; as he is an angel, not a human being. While the cosmic judge of Daniel 7:13 cannot be Michael/.Melchizedek, as he must be a ‘son of man’.

        • Bart
          Bart  August 14, 2020

          I hadn’t thought of it quite that way before, but I guess something like that. The Son of Man comes and wipes out those who are opposed to God; he establishes Jesus as king of the new kingdom; the twelve serve under him as his vicegerents.

  6. Avatar
    AstaKask  August 10, 2020

    Does Paul ever mention the Son of Man?

    • Bart
      Bart  August 12, 2020

      No, not by name. But the idea of a cosmic judge of the earth soon to come, definitely (1 Thess 4:13-18); for Paul, Jesus was the Son of Man, even if he doesn’t use the title for his gentile audience.

  7. Avatar
    Poohbear  August 10, 2020

    Curious quote – “Scholars have a number of ways of making good probability judgments about such things based on a number of criteria…”

    Jacob in Egypt foresaw a Hebrew nation, under theocratic law and governed by a monarchy under the line of Judah, “until” the Messiah comes. The Gentiles would obey Him.

    Let’s apply “Probability Judgement”
    Chance of one particular Semite tribe becoming a nation? Difficult, let’s say 1/1000.
    Chance of a monarchy? God was against monarchy but monarchies were common – 50%.
    Chance of a Judean king? Easy, 1/12.
    Chance of a theocratic law? 50%
    Chance of the Messiah who’s coming would end this nation? Impossible to figure. 1/million? More. Let’s be generous – 1/1000.
    And the “obedience of the nations” to a Jewish Messiah? Count the gods of the world’s tribes. Be generous and say 1/10,000.

    Generous probability = 0.000000000000415%
    What’s that? Not even one in a trillion.
    You mentioned “shockers” ?

    Pious fiction? the accuracy demands explanation.

    So are ‘scholars’ doing the stats on this, plus EVERY OTHER PROPHECY in the Tanakh? No. Why? You tell me (I suggest because it’s Confronting.)

    • Bart
      Bart  August 12, 2020

      You don’t really think that you can assign a statistical probability to an event happening, do you? What would be the statistical probability that at 8:44 on 8/12/2020 I would type the word aixibicavel?

      • Avatar
        Poohbear  August 14, 2020

        Yes, you can do the math. What’s the probability a person can vanish off the earth and walk upon the sun, then return to the earth? In quantum physics, where nothing is “real” that number is a google (ten to the power 100) to the power of another google. And theoretical physicists calculated that probability.
        Assigning a probability that a Messiah would come at the end of a Hewbrew nation and he would be a Gentile Messiah is simply impossible to compute. I said one in a thousand for the sake of argument – it would be in the google range. There’s tons packed into Jacob’s prophecy for Judah. Sufficient to say – that prophecy came true. It’s there for you to read.

      • Avatar
        hankgillette  August 16, 2020

        1:1 after the fact. 😉

    • Avatar
      hankgillette  August 16, 2020

      It’s easy to ascribe accuracy to prophecies if you believe that things that did not happen happened.

      The Judean monarchy did not last until the Messiah came, assuming that Jesus was the Messiah.
      The Gentiles did not obey Jesus; they crucified him.
      Jesus did not end the nation.
      “The nations” are not obedient to Jesus.

      Also, modern scholars say that Genesis was written in the 5th and 6th centuries B.C.E. So, the chance that Jacob would “predict” that there would be a nation: 1/1,
      monarchy: 1/1,
      under the line of Judah: 1/1, and
      theocratic rule: 1/1.

      There is no accuracy demanding an explanation.

  8. Avatar
    fishician  August 10, 2020

    Is there any scholarly consensus on the dating of Mark, Q, L and M; that is, earliest to latest, or were they likely all developed in parallel to one another?

    • Bart
      Bart  August 12, 2020

      One big debate is over whether Q is earlier than Mark. I’d say most scholars thing so. Scholars tend to put Q in the 50s or 60s. M and L are up in the air. Sometime before matthew and Luke! mark is put around 70. So, I guess the typical scholarly sequence is Q, Mark, M and L.

  9. Avatar
    forthfading  August 10, 2020

    Dr. Ehrman

    You mentioned that it is commonplace among scholars to understand that some of the sayings of Jesus are not original to him, or were placed on his lips. Apparently this is widely understood and accepted among scholars today. Is the idea of Jesus referring to someone else as the Son of Man also commonplace among scholars? Or is this a minority view in your opinion? I hear over and over that Son of Man was Jesus’ favorite self understanding.

    Thanks, Jay

    • Bart
      Bart  August 12, 2020

      I’d say it’s more of a minority view. There is less evidence one way or the other, than that sayings were put on his lips, which, historically, is a pretty slam-dunk case.

  10. Avatar
    wje  August 10, 2020

    Why would a Son of Man be necessary in the scheme of Jewish/Christian theology? God already showed in the old testament that he could take care of business himself when his problem children got out of control. Jesus was not above raising hell and passing judgement on the world either. Where was this son of man and what was he doing before Jesus mentions him?

    • Bart
      Bart  August 12, 2020

      I would say that there was almost nothing necessary in the scheme of a Jewish-Christian theology, and there were mind-boggling variations of options.

  11. Avatar
    Aman  August 11, 2020

    Dr. Bart, i had always been fasinated with the concept of ‘Son of Man’….so according to mark and Q do u think Jesus’s 12 disciples thought jesus was ‘The Son of Man’?

  12. Avatar
    Aman  August 11, 2020

    And also if ‘Son of Man’ is the title in Judaism, why had it be only mentioned in the Book of Daniel, why hadn’t anyone try to use it before jesus like the title Son of God or Messiah?

  13. Avatar
    Hon Wai  August 11, 2020

    How would you respond to Larry Hurtado and Maurice Casey’s argument that Son of Man is merely a self-referential circumlocution idiom used by Jesus in Aramaic?
    https://larryhurtado.wordpress.com/2017/10/13/the-son-of-man-an-obsolete-phantom/

    • Bart
      Bart  August 12, 2020

      I think there is little evidence for that, and that since the later Christians who were passing along the stories believed Jesus was the son of man, they were likely to have put it on his own lips to show that. I’ll be showing why I htink in fact he was referring to someone other than himself in the *authentic* sayings.

  14. Avatar
    Eskil  August 11, 2020

    I have understood that verbs have only a single tense in Hebrew. How do we know that Jesus was actually speaking about some future event? Maybe he was originally referring to himself in the presence tense or maybe he has retelling the story of Adam’s descendent in the past tense and only afterwards Christian converts misinterpret the original Hebrew stories.

    • Bart
      Bart  August 12, 2020

      Jesus wasn’t speaking Hebrew. In any event Hebrew has two tenses, the perfect to indicate actions that have already been completed; the imperfect for actions that have not been completed. So there were ways to describe future events in Hebrew and, of course, other semitic languages.

    • MohammedFawzi
      MohammedFawzi  August 16, 2020

      Dr Bart ..
      Why Jesus wasn’t referring to the Figure of Dt 18/18 and Ishaia 42 ( By The Son of man ) ?.

      • Bart
        Bart  August 17, 2020

        Because the term son of man does not occur in those verses.

  15. Avatar
    Silver  August 11, 2020

    I look forward to your future posts when you show that Jesus was not referring to himself as the Son of Man.
    At present I do not see why in the 4 sources/passages you quote that Jesus could not be saying something like ‘Things will not go well for you when I return not as myself but in the persona of the Son of Man i.e. when I am glorified.’

    • Bart
      Bart  August 12, 2020

      They could. But you would *think* that only if you already believed Jesus himself was the Son of man. There’s nothing int he sayings themselves that would suggest it.

  16. Avatar
    Pegill7  August 11, 2020

    Just a minor point: don’t you mean L did not know M… surely L knew Mark?

    • Bart
      Bart  August 12, 2020

      No, the idea is that L did not know either M or Mark. It was independent.

      • Avatar
        John  August 23, 2020

        If L and M were the authors themselves, they would both know Mark and Q.

        Would that mean there were only 2 sources?

        Apart from Mark and Q, how do you know what was sourced and what they wrote themselves?

        • Bart
          Bart  August 24, 2020

          Do you mean that if L and M did not exist as separate sources but were in fact simply stories that Luke and matthew respectively made up, then there would be only two sources? Yes, if you say that two of the four sources widely posited did not actually exist, then yes, that would indeed leave you with two that did.

          • Avatar
            John  August 24, 2020

            Thanks, yes that’s what I meant but even if the authors of Luke and Matthew used 2 or 3 or 4 other sources, how would you know what came from those and what that made up themselves.

            Clearly, they were familiar with the concept of the Son of Man from Mark and Q, it seems quite plausible that they might use to to make other theological points of their own.

          • Bart
            Bart  August 26, 2020

            There actually are ways to establish probabilities, but not certainties. If Luke consistently uses prepositions, conjunctions, adverbs, subordinate clauses, participial phrases, infinitives, and so on in certain ways — or even just vocabulary — but a verse/passage uses them in different ways, that would suggest he did not compose the passage himself. Since Luke tells us he’s familiar with lots of sources, and we know of two of them, it seems likely that he would have used others that he knew as well.

          • Avatar
            John  August 27, 2020

            Thanks and understood.

            So are scholars agreed that there is evidence showing, that the instances Luke and Matthew refer to the Son of Man, aside from when they are quoting Mark or Q, are not from their pen but from other sources?

          • Bart
            Bart  August 27, 2020

            Yup, pretty much.

          • Avatar
            John  August 28, 2020

            Thanks.

            Is there an example of that including what the evidence is?

          • Bart
            Bart  August 28, 2020

            An example of four minus two equals two? I think I must be misunderstanding your question!

          • Avatar
            John  August 28, 2020

            Sorry for being unclear.

            I am asking whether there Is an example of the authors Matthew or Luke referencing the ‘Son of Man’ that does not come from Mark or Q and which historians believe came from another source i.e. it was not invented by either of them, together with why they think that?

          • Bart
            Bart  August 30, 2020

            Yes. It’s because there are a number of such sayings and M and L appear to have been written sources, for reasons I mentioned.

          • Avatar
            John  August 30, 2020

            Many thanks once again.

            I have seen breakdowns of Matthew and Luke’s gospels between Mark, Q, M & L but not more detailed concerning other sources i.e. M & L and the authors themselves. I would be interested in finding out more on this. Do you know of any book or articles that go into more detail on this. I don’t think I have seen you mention it on the blog.

          • Bart
            Bart  August 31, 2020

            I actually don’t know any full length books on it. Unlike Mark we are pretty clueless about whehter M and L were one source each, numerous sources, written, oral, or what. They are just the material Matthew and Luke inherited from somewhere other thenat Mark and Q.

          • Avatar
            John  September 1, 2020

            OK and thanks again.

            You seemed to suggest though, that there was a clear distinction between the material they inherited apart from Mark a Q, and what they wrote themselves.

            Is that correct?

            If so, are theses differences documented anywhere?

          • Bart
            Bart  September 2, 2020

            I don’t know which they wrote for themselves and which they inherited from another soruce: but we lump it all together and call it m and l.

          • Avatar
            John  September 3, 2020

            Thanks once more.

            You wrote in the blog – ‘ And they each had another independent source (or sources) that scholars call M (for Matthew’s source) and L (for Luke’s source).’

            So are you now saying that there is no evidence that the authors of Matthew and Luke used an additional source to reference the Son of Man (outside of Mark and Q) and that it is plausible they could have written these sections based on what they already know of Mark and Q?

            In which case, saying there are 4 independent sources for this, would be speculative, would it not?

          • Bart
            Bart  September 4, 2020

            There’s lots of evidence. But since we don’t have M and L then it is speculative, yes. So is the theory that these parts of their Gospels were written by Matthew and Luke themselves, or any other explanation. So one has to see what the best evidence is. As you know, I’ve explained it already.

          • Avatar
            John  September 5, 2020

            “There’s lots of evidence. But since we don’t have M and L then it is speculative, yes.”

            Sorry, if we have lots of evidence, how can it be speculative?

            Many thanks for responding to me and I know you don’t have the time to do a detailed reply which is probably why I am not getting what you are trying to say.

            Alternatively, perhaps you could say something about the subject of M & L in a mailbag post or maybe even on the blog. I tried searching for this but couldn’t find anything. If I have missed it, perhaps you could indicate where it is.

            “So is the theory that these parts of their Gospels were written by Matthew and Luke themselves, or any other explanation. So one has to see what the best evidence is. As you know, I’ve explained it already.

            Yes, you said the writing style is different where sources are used but I presume the authors of Matthew and Luke took what they were given and wrote in their own styles where the sources were oral or if they used Mark’s concept of the ‘Son of Man’ to express their own view, would they not?

          • Bart
            Bart  September 6, 2020

            On this one it’s a fairly simple matter. Just take Matthew and M. We know Matthew got most of his stories from Mark and Q, and modified them either a little or a lot, in various places. So we have evidence that he based most of his Gospel on other written sources, that he conformed to his own writing style. he has other stories not from Mark and Q. Did he break his pattern and compose these himself, just making them up on teh spot? It’s certainly possible. But we already know what his trend is. If anyone thinks he broke his pattern here, they need to give some reason and evidence for thinking so. If he did not break his pattern, then M (one or a collection of sources, oral or written) existed. So it’s a question of evidence.

          • Avatar
            John  September 7, 2020

            Sorry but there is obviously something I am missing from a historicity POV here

            Yes, the authors both used sources and either copied and/or embellished what was there in the case of Mark and Q. As for the rest, this came from written sources we are unaware of, oral sources which they would have written down in their own style and text they themselves created in order to support their own particular theological agenda. Is that a fair summary?

            What we don’t know however, because we have no evidence, is the extent to which any or all of these were used. Certainly at least one of these possibilities must be the case though. Would you agree with that?

            Therefore, saying that because they used sources for most of their writing is evidence that none of the remaining texts are theirs, does not seem sound to me. Surely the best we can say, is that M & L as other sources are plausible. Would that not be the case?

          • Bart
            Bart  September 9, 2020

            Yes, that’s right. And the question is: is that idea more plausible than the alternative. It could go either way, obviously, but there do seem to be pretty compelling reasons for thinking it is one way but not the other. Still, we can’t know. Now: let’s move away from M & L to other topics!

          • Avatar
            John  September 10, 2020

            Many thanks once again and yes, it looks like we have done this to death.

            Sorry for getting confused but the blog suggested that we have 4 sources here:

            “….in ALL FOUR of these independent sources.”

            I agree though, that apart from Mark and Q (which incidentally is still an hypotheses without any evidence), M & L are at best, plausible.

            Best wishes and regards to Sarah.

  17. JulieGraff
    JulieGraff  August 11, 2020

    Mr. Ehrman.

    Can you please tell us how many words in greek mean “Man”.

    And if there is more than one, does those words just mean “man” or what do they mean?

    And which one was used in the Gospels?

    This is important as the first disciples were jews first and then the stories got to be told in greek!

    As we can say, there must have been something lost in translation as In hebrew there are many words to talk about a man, depending on their conditions or evolution etc, but I dont know of one word that means just Man!

    Thank you!

    • Bart
      Bart  August 12, 2020

      The two most common words are ANTHROPOS which means human (either male or female) and ANER (which means male adult). Both are used in the Gospels.

      • JulieGraff
        JulieGraff  August 14, 2020

        Ok thank you!

        So if I understand correctly, in the Gospel, it is written the “Son of Anthropos / Human” and or “Son of Aner / Male Adult” … And we are now debating if he realy ment himself as, or someone else as, the Judge of etc… Is that correct?

        How can we go from Son of Human or Male, to Judge of? Only by going back to the Source Torah / Nevihim / Ketouvim without wich there would be no Gospel!

        I’m happy that you brought up Daniel.. with the 4 beasts etc.. .(4 exiles) … It made me think of Naboukodonosor’s dream (with the 4 parts of the statue getting crushed by the stone) and Daniel getting everything right about it.. and I mean historicaly everything right to this day, more than 2000 years later!

        If it is ok with you Mr. Ehrman (?) I will post links to a Rav’s teaching, living in Jerusalem, that speaks french (you understand french) that is pure teaching, no adds etc… that he just did on Daniel … I believe that it shows the historical accuracy of Daniel’s prophecy… and also may shed some light on this actual post!

        • Bart
          Bart  August 15, 2020

          Are you referring to the Christological title? “Son of Aner” is never used that way, only “son of anthropos.”

          • JulieGraff
            JulieGraff  August 18, 2020

            Ok, Thank you…

            No I am not refering to a Christophical title as the “Son of Aner” as this would not have anything to do with the real anointed…(ok just for fun, do you know one or two of the reason why kings were anointed? … because oil always rises above other liquids (or rises above any difficulty like Joseph) and also do not just wet matter, it penetrates it)!

            Now I thank you for the specification of the greek translation for the “Son of man / Son of Anthropos/Human”

            And so it is showing that it has nothing to do with the real deal.. Bne Adam…

            You did not answer the request for the permission to share the link to David, I am now asking permission to share a link to understand Adam… without yes or no… I will understand it is ok to post them, for the remaining 2 last post I have in this topic! … and I will be wishing for a new post on anointed ones! 😉

          • Bart
            Bart  August 19, 2020

            Not sure what you mean about permission to share a link. But I prefer you simply make comments of your own.

  18. Avatar
    Phillipos98  August 12, 2020

    Dr. Ehrman,
    I know you used to think that the Cephas Paul said he had met was someone other than the disciple Peter and that you now think they’re the same person, but if you *had to* pick a number from 1 to 10, how certain are you?

    (I know we can’t *know* the answer).

    • Bart
      Bart  August 13, 2020

      Actually, I don’t recall saying that they were teh same person. I do tend to think it’s more likely now than I used to think but I could stills see it going either way. They certainly were *thought* to be different persons in parts of early Christianity.

  19. kt@rg.no
    kt@rg.no  August 12, 2020

    A great theme!

    The “Son of Man” has for me a kind of human connection, somehow. I understood that the Hebrew/Aramenic translation is even “Adam” which might refert to humanity/human soul or “us” in a way. The uses of “Son of Man” in the Hebrew Bible don’t give me another opinion, even though it is used in different ways.

    Reading about the spiritual man/spiritual Adam or perhaps “Son of man” in jewish esoteric systems or Christian esoteric system (Gnisticism) this fits quite well with what I get out of reading “Son of Man” in OT.

    When I read Daniel, (ch. 7) , for me it seems that they tries to tell of a restoration of human/human soul/or the idealistically-original human (Adam) in spirit, after destroying the beasts, where this “Son of Man” is exalted to sit/rule beside the “Ancient of days”. Since the Revelation uses a lot of Daniel’s imagery, it also uses both “Son of Man” and “Son of God” is used. For me, who think the authors tried to describe Daniels dream, in particular restoration of “Son of Man” and the interpretation of the Revelation as a vision of human ascend back to God, I can easily differentiate the use of “Son of Man” and “Son of God” as two different elements, also in the Revelation.

    Even though you have a different interpretation of the Revelation from what I currently have, but,, do you think the “Son of man” and Son of God in the Revelation is the same?

    • Bart
      Bart  August 13, 2020

      They don’t mean the same thing but they refer to the same person in Revelation. (Just as you can say two different things about any one)

      • kt@rg.no
        kt@rg.no  August 14, 2020

        Thank you for your answer.

        For me, when they talk about all the animals, (white, black, red, and pale horses etc), they don’t mean real horses, when they talk about the monsters/dragons, they don’t mean those as real entities, , the earthquakes as a physical event, , the 4 beasts as real creatures, Babylon as a real city, a whore as a real whore etc, etc,etc.

        In the same way, I suspect that all the other symbols, even the Son of Man/God may be representation of something else, other than a external being or person.

        With my deepest respect and appreciation of your scholarship and your work, I have to say I don’t share your opinion on this. I think they talk about 2 seperate things (Son of Man/Son of God) and in addition to that, not figurative persons.

        Thank you again!

        • kt@rg.no
          kt@rg.no  August 14, 2020

          ((((a correction, my English isn’t perfect,,,think “scholarship” means something else,,,I mean your “work as a scholar”. Sorry))))

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