The Bible in Africa: Transactions, Trajectories, and Trends

By Gerald O. West; Musa W. Dube | Go to book overview

same signification, for both refer to the same locutor. But the expression “son of man” tells more about the locutor. Not only does it refer to the locutor Jesus but it also specifies him as a human being. This aspect becomes more important in the context of 14:62 whereby Jesus has just affirmed with ego eimi to be the Christ, the son of God. By using “son of man” instead of “me” he claims to be not only the Christ, the son of God, but also a human being. In doing so he completes the understanding of his Christhood which the high priest's question has only limited to divine sonship. Therefore the kai in the second part of 14:62 is not a simple conjunction device, but serves to provide additional information concerning precisely the humanity of Jesus. With the expression “son of man, ” Mark underlines Jesus' human nature as he does with “Son of God” when he wants to affirm his divine sonship. Though Jesus is confessed as “Son of God” on several occasions, Mark also depicts him as human, “son of man”—from his earthly activity until his eschatological manifestation, through his passion and resurrection.

There is no linguistic or theological reason for translating or understanding ho huios tou anthrôpou as a messianic title. Linguistically, the Aramaic background explains this expression as an idiom meaning nothing other than a human being. Theologically, the human nature of Jesus has to be affirmed. The Kiswahili mwana wa mtu is not a literal, but it is an accurate, translation of the intended meaning of the New Testament ho huios tou anthrôpou.


BIBLIOGRAPHY

Biblia. Habari Njema. Dodoma-Nairobi, 1995.

Biblia Takatifu. Bukavu, 1986.

Bietenhard, H. “Der Menschensohn—ho huios tou anthrôpou. Sprachliche und religionsgeschichtliche Untersuchungen zu einem Begriff der synoptischen Evangelien I. Sprachlicher und religionsgeschichtlicher Teil.” Aufstieg und Niedergang der Römischen Welt II.25.1 (1982): 265–350.

Bowman, T. “The Background of the term 'Son of Man.'” The Expository Times 59 (1947/48): 283–288.

Bratcher, R.G. & Nida, E.A. A Translator's Handbook on the Gospel of Mark. Leiden: United Bible Societies, 1961.

Bultmann, R. Theologie des Neuen Testaments. Thbingen: Mohr, 1948, 1984.

Burkett, D. The Son of Man in the Gospel of John. Sheffield: JSOT, 1991.

Campbell, J.Y. “The Origin and the Meaning of the Term Son of Man.” The Journal of Theological Studies 48 (1947): 145–155, also In Ed. J.Y. Campbell, Three New Testament Studies. Republished and Presented to Him by His Friends with an Appreciation. Leiden: Brill, 1965: 29–40.

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