Archive for the 'Son of Man' Category

This is the third part of a three part series on “The Son of Man.” Click here to read part one or here to read part two.

This is the second part of a three part series on “The Son of Man.” Click here to read part one.

Son of Man in Extra-Biblical Jewish Literature

Outside of the Old and New Testaments the Jewish people produced a good deal of other literature. There are historical, fictional, proverbial, and prophetic writings, which comment on major figures and themes in the Hebrew Scriptures. These sources are helpful to understand how Jewish people around the time of Jesus were thinking about matters in a way similar to someone a thousand years from now observing what movies were most popular in the early twenty-first century in order to understand background information about studying someone in our own time. Two texts in particular that give us a window into how the Son of Man was understood are The Jewish Apocalypse of Ezra and The Similitudes of Enoch.

By Charles Hunting 

This article was originally published in the July 2000 issue of Focus on the Kingdom.  It was recently posted on the Focus on the Kingdom blog.  It is part one of a two-part series.

Jesus referred to himself as the Son of Man more than any other title in the Gospels. Though this title was most familiar to Jesus, nevertheless it is the most obscure to modern readers. Opinions vary on just what Jesus meant by calling himself the Son of Man. Some believe the title refers to an angelic heavenly creature. Others think it denotes Jesus’ human nature (as opposed to his divine nature). Many consider “son of man” to simply be Jesus’ way of saying “I.” Still others think the title relates to Jesus’ suffering and death or his future role as the returning cosmic victor. Rather than consider each of these theories in turn, instead we will build our understanding from the ground up, starting with the Old Testament. Then we will move to consider two extra-biblical Jewish texts before finally working on the New Testament.

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