Posted by: forfreedomalone | 02/12/2019

Son of Man/Son of God

I’ll try to answer another question today.

Q. My Pastor tells me that the reason Jesus was called, “The Son of God” and “The Son of Man” was to show that he was fully divine and fully human. I wondered what your thoughts were on this?

A. Excellent question and one which I have not been asked before, although one on which I have taught.

Your Pastor’s response is fully in line with Christian understanding and teaching and completely at odds with Biblical and Jewish understanding and teaching. Today the church is ignorant, but in days gone by they were wilfully antisemitic and removed the links between ‘Christian’ teaching and ‘Jewish’ teaching. This wilful distancing has lead to ignorance and to the understanding that those two terms mean the things your Pastor says. Let’s look at what they really mean.

The first time the term, “Son of God” is used in the Bible is in the Book of Daniel. It is used to describe the fourth man in the furnace with the three Hebrew men. However, in Psalm 2 David says that God has called him, “my son” and in 1 Chronicles Solomon is declared to be a son to God, who will be a father to him. This lead to the concept that the Kings of Israel were “sons of God”; not in a physical sense but in a spiritual one. They were commissioned by God and anointed by him to reign as King of Israel. God was the father of the King, who was father of the nation. This concept was very much alive in Scottish culture until 1603 when the father of the nation, King James VI went to London to assume the English crown and, as many saw it, abandoned his ‘children’. The King was the father of the nation, but he ruled under his father, God.

Note also, that as the anointed ones the King and the High Priest were both called Masheakh – the anointed one- which translates into Greek as Christ.
Therefore, the title “Son of God” is the title which refers to Jesus humanity, his right of Kingship over Israel and his linage from David.

The title “Son of Man” is found in many books of the Bible and is used to mean, quite literally that, the son of a man. However, where it gets its meaning specific to Jesus is in the Book of Daniel also. Daniel, in his vision of the coming of God upon the clouds, sees with the Almighty “one, like the son of man”. What Daniel is seeing is a being who looks like a human being, but, as he is with the Almighty, the Ancient of Days, arriving on a cloud {a concept reserved only for the Father} this “son of man” MUST be divine. There is no way a sinful human could be sitting on a cloud in the presence of the Holy One so he much be divine, but presenting himself in the form of a human. From the days of Daniel the Israelites were looking for the “Son of Man” as the divine one who would be their saviour. The “Son of Man” nomenclature points not to his humanity but to his divinity.

Jesus allowed the term “Son of Man” to be used of him on many more occasions than he allowed the term “Son of God” to be used. He was pointing to the fact that he had come as the second person of the Godhead; a concept which is not at all a Christian invention, or revelation, but a truly Jewish one, well accepted long before Jesus day. The preconceived ideas of the Jews of his day and the fact that God had blinded them to the truth, meant that they were looking for the Son of God to come first and so they rejected the Son of Man who was before them.

The Son of Man, the Son of God and the second person of the Godhead were all well established Jewish concepts by Jesus’ day, as was the suffering servant Messiah, all of which have been claimed by Christianity as revelation belonging to them alone. Sadly, the acts of the 1st century church have had lasting effects and today, the thoroughly Jewish meanings of the titles assigned to Jesus have been totally twisted and reversed.

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