Monday, February 22, 2016

Authentic Sayings of Jesus: The Son of Man

Of the subject title Craig writes the following:

It is highly likely that Jesus thought of himself as and claimed to be the Son of Man.  This was Jesus’ favorite self-description and is the title found most frequently in the gospels (over eighty times). Yet remarkably, this title is found only once outside the Gospels in the rest of the new Testament (Acts 7:56).  That shows that the designation of Jesus as “the Son of Man” was not a title that arose in later Christian usage and was then written back into the Jesus traditions. Even in the Gospels, only Jesus uses this title; others may confess him as the Messiah or the Son of God, but never as the Son of Man. On the basis of the criterion of dissimilarity we can say with confidence that Jesus called himself “the Son of Man."1

Further, Craig notes that Jesus’ use of the definitive article “the” throughout the Gospels points to the son of man figure spoken of in Daniel 7:13-14.  Also it is multiply attested that Jesus believed in the figure (Mark 8:38; 13:26-27; Matthew 10:32-33/Luke 12:8-9; Matthew 24:27,37,39/Luke 17:24, 26, 30).  Some argue that Jesus was talking about and expecting someone else when using the Son of Man title. However, this would require deeming all of the Son of Man sayings of Jesus inauthentic and if Jesus held such a view His claims to ultimate authority would not make sense.2

This series has identified authentic sayings of, or events surrounding, Jesus which demonstrate that He claimed the following three titles:  Messiah, the Son of God, and the Son of Man. Next week the series will finish with a look at a passage in which Jesus claims all three titles.

Stand firm in Christ,

1.  Craig, William Lane. Reasonable Faith:  Christian Truth and Apologetics; Third Edition. Page 315.

2.  Ibid. Pages 316, 317.

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