Who is “the Son of Man”?

Jesus said, “I am; and ‘you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power,’ and ‘coming with the clouds of heaven.'”
Mark 14:62, NRSV

As we read through the Gospels we come across a phrase that Jesus uses frequently: ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου – “the Son of Man.” In the Synoptic Gospels it appears seventy-two times and in John’s Gospel we find it thirteen times more. The New Testament never offers us a definition for the phrase. Instead, the reader is left to figure it out for himself. Because of this, various proposals have been made in attempt to identify the origin of the term. Could it simply be a Hebraism to mean “human”? Is it a reference to Daniel 7:13 and represents an eschatological figure? Is it unique to Jesus?

In a video that came out in December of last year, biblical scholar Larry Hurtado briefly goes over the hermeneutical history of “the Son of Man” and offers some thoughts on how he thinks the term should be treated.


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