Son Of Man

The “Son of man”

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Dear brother in Christ, I am an assiduous reader of the Bible, but I recognize that I find things in it that I cannot explain. One of those is the expression “The Son of Man”. Jesus says that He is the Son of Man; does that mean that He is only a man and that His father was a man? Is He denying His divinity? I am confused.


The title “Son of Man” comes from the Old Testament, specifically from the book of the Prophet Daniel, from the vision that the Prophet Daniel had:

 I saw in the night visions,
and behold, with the clouds of heaven
there came one like a son of man,
and he came to the Ancient of Days
and was presented before him.
And to him was given dominion
and glory and kingdom,
that all peoples, nations, and languages
should serve him;
his dominion is an everlasting dominion,
which shall not pass away,
and his kingdom one
that shall not be destroyed
. (Dan 7:13-14)

When the Prophet asks for the explanation of this vision, he gets the following answer:

But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, for ever and ever… And the kingdom and the dominion and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High. (Dan 7:18, 27)

Daniel’s text contemplates an individual person and the people. Let us point out that what refers to the person of the Son of man who we see again in the words of the Angel at the annunciation to Mary:

and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there will be no end. (Lk 1:33)

Therefore, when Jesus uses the title “Son of man” to speak of Himself, He is resorting to an expression coming from the canonical tradition of the Old Testament, also present in the apocryphal books of Judaism. It should be noted, however, that the expression “son of man” (ben-adam) had become, in the Aramaic of Jesus’ time, an expression that simply indicated “man” (bar enas). Therefore, by referring to Himself as “Son of man”, Jesus managed to almost hide, behind the veil of the common meaning, the messianic meaning that the word had in the prophetic teaching.  Thus, Jesus uses this term to refer to Himself as Messiah, although His hearers thought that He was only saying that He was truly “man”. Jesus was saying, then, something more than some of them thought they understood, although it was within the reach of the learned who were to identify Him as Messiah, to whom His teaching was primarily directed.


Original Post: Here
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