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Re: The Man/Son of Man

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  • Ian Hutchesson
    ... Pardon a few mildly inane questions, but is the use of lion in Dan7:4 special or generic? is bear in 7:5 special or generic? or leopard in 7:6
    Message 1 of 8 , Nov 2, 1998
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      >I term the 80 *son of man* passages in Ezekiel & Da.8:17 as *generic*, so
      >to speak, where the text clearly indicates humans without transcendent
      >overtones. What follows are other passages which seem to indicate
      >something more than generic *son of man*.

      Pardon a few mildly inane questions, but is the use of "lion" in Dan7:4
      special or generic? is "bear" in 7:5 special or generic? or "leopard" in 7:6
      special or generic? or even "son of man" in 7:13 special or generic? Each of
      these nouns function in one way, as similes to describe something else. They
      are not in themselves anything important other than for what they represent.
      The "one like a son of man" is in fact not a son of man, only like one, just
      as the beast which was like a lion was not in fact a lion, merely like on.
      The all important "like" gets omitted when it gets into the NT: Mk13:26
      doesn't have it, for example. This is changing the significance of the
      passage by manipulating it into something else.

      The only way the simile can work is that the term "son of man" actually
      signifies something plainly accessible to the audience. That significance we
      find in many ancient Jewish documents, including Daniel, Ezekiel and
      numerous DSS. The significance of "son of man" is "human", the offspring of
      our species. So, the one going up to heaven on a cloud has the appearance of
      a human, unlike all those beasties. It would actually have little meaning to
      say that "there came one like a son of man", had the term "son of man" had a
      special significance, for if it were a unique term then the simile would not
      actually work.

      Let us assume for a moment that there was something more in the phrase, what
      exactly would it be, given the continued simple use of "son of man" in Dan8
      and in the DSS works written after Daniel? Did Christ come on the clouds
      like a Christ, did Jesus come like a Jesus? Is that what you'd like to
      think? What would that sort of thing mean?

      It does not help in the analysis of the Dan7 passage to look forward a few
      hundred years to see how people were using terms at that later time. It
      cannot have any historical value on the earlier work. Imagine the song
      "Jamaica Farewell" being analysed today: "Down the way where the nights are
      gay..." Everyone starts to titter. Gays down in Jamaica...!? This sort of
      thinking is totally out of place in the original context of the song, but
      it's very hard not to think such things when we hear the song since the
      propaganda concerning gayness has challenged the core of our society. In
      second century, as in modern, Christianity, "son of man" carries
      implications that were not originally in the phrase. It does not help us
      understand the original passage in Daniel.

      >There is an awesome description in Revelation of the *Son of Man*:

      I'm sorry, Douglas, but what Revelation has to say might be fine, but it has
      little to do with the significance of Dan7, though conversely Dan7 has a lot
      to do with Revelation. Influence is a one way street, from earlier to later
      and not vice versa, so despite the fact that "son of man" was used one way
      in NT literature, it cannot affect Dan7.

      >There is a striking similarity in another passage of Daniel:
      >
      >There are common elements to both of the above Revelation & Daniel
      >accounts:

      Hopefully you can see the ultimate irrelevance of Revelation on the
      significance of Dan7, just as Coleridge's musings on Kublai Khan have no
      reflection on the original.

      There is an obvious change in significance to be found between Dan7's one
      coming on the clouds like a son of man and Mk13's son of man coming on the
      clouds. The first gives an idea of the form of the figure, the other in some
      way says who the figure is.


      Ian
    • Douglas W Kincaid
      On Mon, 2 Nov 1998 11:21:03 +0100 (CET) Ian Hutchesson ... Greetings Ian, In response, I ll limit my comments mostly to how I think *Son of
      Message 2 of 8 , Nov 5, 1998
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        On Mon, 2 Nov 1998 11:21:03 +0100 (CET) Ian Hutchesson <mc2499@...>
        writes:
        >
        >Pardon a few mildly inane questions, but is the use of "lion" in
        >Dan7:4
        >special or generic? is "bear" in 7:5 special or generic? or "leopard"
        >in 7:6
        >special or generic? or even "son of man" in 7:13 special or generic?
        >In
        >second century, as in modern, Christianity, "son of man" carries
        >implications that were not originally in the phrase.

        Greetings Ian,

        In response, I'll limit my comments mostly to how I think *Son of Man*
        was meant and interpreted at the time it was written in Dan.7:13. The
        scope of my previous post was broader, including verses indicating how
        *Son of Man* was perceived by writers of NT books.

        As you probably know, most scholars think the book of Daniel was written
        around 165 BCE, when much of the known world was under Greek influence.
        Some of the musical instruments mentioned in Dan.3:5 are said to be of
        Greek origin (not of an earlier Babylonian or Persian) - Strongs #6460
        psalterion and #5481 cyphonya or bagpipe.

        D.S. Russell relates in his *Between the Testaments* the view of
        Mowinckel, "the Jewish conception of 'the Man' or 'the Son of Man' is a
        Jewish variant of the oriental, cosmological, eschatological myth of
        Anthropos." Peter Lemesurier in his *The Armageddon Script* referred to
        the Jews', "...the Messianic 'man' figure prefigured by the book of
        Daniel at 7:13." From Rudolph Otto's *The Kingdom of God and the Son of
        Man*, "The book of Enoch did not invent the mysterious figure found near
        God, for it already existed. Perhaps long previously he had actually
        been called 'the Man'.... the words 'Son of Man' had the force of a
        title...."

        So in Daniel 7 where the terms *beasts* (7:3-ff - lion, bear,etc.) &
        *Man* (7:13) occur, were literal animals and a natural human being like
        you or I meant? I don't think so. Dan.7:17 continues with, "These great
        *beasts*, which are four, are four *kings*." So we read in Daniel 7 that
        those animals symbolized humans (not literal animals).

        James VanderKam says in *Enoch: A Man for All Generations*, "Around the
        time of the Hellenistic reforms in Jerusalem...the first Jewish
        historical apocalypses made their appearance. These are the Apocalypse of
        Weeks (1Enoch 93:1-10, 91:11-17), the visions in Daniel 7-12, and the
        Animal Apocalypse (1Enoch 85-90).... Daniel's visions may be dated to the
        time of the Maccabean revolt (ca. 165) and the Animal Apocalypse perhaps
        a couple of years later."

        According to VanderKam, Daniel 7 and the Enochic Animal Apocalypse were
        written at about the same time. In the AA, as in Daniel 7, animals
        symbolized humans. Clean animals represented the patriarchs & Israel,
        and unclean/ wild animals symbolized the wicked/ Gentiles. Furthermore
        in the AA, *men* symbolized angels or superhuman beings (e.g. 1En.87:2,
        89:1,36). I think that same symbolism was intended in Dan.7:13. That
        is, the *Son of Man* was a superhuman figure, as the later NT books
        similarly interpreted - e.g. Stephen in Acts 7, Hebrews 2, & Revelation
        (to which I referred in my previous post). The angel-like figure of
        Dan.7 13 recalls to mind Is.9:6 (LXX), "For a child is born to us...and
        his name is called the Messenger (or Angel) of great counsel...."

        Margaret Barker wrote in *The Lost Prophet* (Enoch), "Thus in Daniel 7
        'one like a son of man' is only a human figure. But in Enoch 'men' are
        archangels. It is therefore likely that an angelic vision in Daniel will
        have used similar terminology. 'A man' was an angel figure, or one who
        had become angelic.... in other words, the son of man figure was a human
        being who became divine and was given dominion. Like Enoch, Daniel also
        has animals; in his vision they are the four fearful beasts."

        I agree. *Beast* & *man* in Daniel 7 did not mean *animal* & *human* -
        the symbolic intent differed from the literal. Where an animal was the
        written term, a human was meant. Where *man* was the written term, an
        angel being was meant. You might find interesting reading in Barker's
        book the chapter entitled, "The Son of Man".

        Furthermore, it seems the early Christian interpretation of *Son of Man*
        may well have resembled the original image.

        Have a good week,

        Doug Kincaid
        Nashville



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      • Ian Hutchesson
        ... This is mainly because the work shows a knowledge of the pollution of the temple (167) at the hands of Antiochus IV who died in 164. The work was written
        Message 3 of 8 , Nov 5, 1998
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          Doug wrote:

          >most scholars think the book of Daniel was written
          >around 165 BCE, when much of the known world was under Greek influence.

          This is mainly because the work shows a knowledge of the pollution of the
          temple (167) at the hands of Antiochus IV who died in 164. The work was
          written before his death for it moves out of history and gives a prophecy of
          his death -- which was wrong, hence it was definitely written before his death.

          >Some of the musical instruments mentioned in Dan.3:5 are said to be of
          >Greek origin (not of an earlier Babylonian or Persian) - Strongs #6460
          >psalterion and #5481 cyphonya or bagpipe.

          I have heard arguments for said instruments very reasonably being used by
          the Greeks centuries before and that the Greeks had contacts in Persia long
          before Alexander conquered it. There is no reason according to the line of
          thought that the instruments hadn't reached Persia early.

          >D.S. Russell relates in his *Between the Testaments* the view of
          >Mowinckel, "the Jewish conception of 'the Man' or 'the Son of Man' is a
          >Jewish variant of the oriental, cosmological, eschatological myth of
          >Anthropos."

          Any thought about Dan7:13 that doesn't take into consideration the fact that
          the phrase "son of man" is used only as a simile misses the whole point. The
          figure is not messianic, for the notion of "messianic" at that time was very
          different. You must note Dan 9:24-27 which deals with post exilic history,
          referring to the two most important priests as "an anointed one, a prince",
          and "an anointed one". It was par for the course that priests were anointed
          -- and I fear that any biblical reference to kings being anointed are
          actually Hasmonean. Being anointed for Daniel basically meant being
          priestly, priests after all being the chosen messengers of God.

          To separate the use of "son of man" in 7:13 from that of 8:17 means to
          arbitrarily claim different usage in each case. There is no reason to
          believe so from the text of Daniel or from the Jewish tradition up to the
          time of Jesus. The Dead Sea Scrolls clearly show the traditional use of "son
          of man" that follows in the wake of Ezekiel, Psalms and Dan 8:17. Why should
          Dan 7:13 be such an aberration? I see no evidence that it was.

          >Peter Lemesurier in his *The Armageddon Script* referred to
          >the Jews', "...the Messianic 'man' figure prefigured by the book of
          >Daniel at 7:13." From Rudolph Otto's *The Kingdom of God and the Son of
          >Man*, "The book of Enoch did not invent the mysterious figure found near
          >God, for it already existed. Perhaps long previously he had actually
          >been called 'the Man'.... the words 'Son of Man' had the force of a
          >title...."
          >
          >So in Daniel 7 where the terms *beasts* (7:3-ff - lion, bear,etc.) &
          >*Man* (7:13) occur, were literal animals and a natural human being like
          >you or I meant? I don't think so.

          Obviously they were not. One was merely *like* a lion. One *like* a bear.
          One *like* a leopard. And finally one *like* a human. It is the mere
          appearance that is necessary in the similes, making clear that "son of man"
          meant "human" in Dan 7:13, although the "one *like* a son of man" was
          probably not human, only "like a son of man".

          >Dan.7:17 continues with, "These great
          >*beasts*, which are four, are four *kings*." So we read in Daniel 7 that
          >those animals symbolized humans (not literal animals).

          But naturally it is not this simple. For example, the four great beasts came
          up out of the sea. Why, if they were merely human? There are a number of
          other layers of significance operating in this complex passage, including
          Ba'al Shamayin's victory over the sea and chaos, and the idea that a people
          had a guardian -- we would normally say a guardian angel, but what about
          godless nations? When Dan 10:13 has the angel say "the prince of the kingdom
          of Persia withstood me for 21 days", is that prince a human prince? Not too
          long after Daniel was written the Dead Sea Scrolls were talking of the
          prince of evil, Mastema, Belial, who struggles against the angels of God.

          >James VanderKam says in *Enoch: A Man for All Generations*, "Around the
          >time of the Hellenistic reforms in Jerusalem...the first Jewish
          >historical apocalypses made their appearance. These are the Apocalypse of
          >Weeks (1Enoch 93:1-10, 91:11-17), the visions in Daniel 7-12, and the
          >Animal Apocalypse (1Enoch 85-90).... Daniel's visions may be dated to the
          >time of the Maccabean revolt (ca. 165) and the Animal Apocalypse perhaps
          >a couple of years later."
          >
          >According to VanderKam, Daniel 7 and the Enochic Animal Apocalypse were
          >written at about the same time. In the AA, as in Daniel 7, animals
          >symbolized humans. Clean animals represented the patriarchs & Israel,
          >and unclean/ wild animals symbolized the wicked/ Gentiles. Furthermore
          >in the AA, *men* symbolized angels or superhuman beings (e.g. 1En.87:2,
          >89:1,36).

          Let's say that the two could be confused: at Sodom the people were very
          interested in an angel; Tobias traveled with an angel as a companion,
          thinking that he was a man. The Dead Sea Scrolls makes comparisons between
          angels and priests. Enoch has angels mingling with the daughters of men.

          >I think that same symbolism was intended in Dan.7:13. That
          >is, the *Son of Man* was a superhuman figure,

          You don't consider the nature of the simile here. it is not "the *Son of
          Man*" at all, but "one like a son of man". The difference is extremely
          important. You are giving the "son of man" from Mk13:26 and not Dan 7:13.
          You must not confuse the two -- as was done in antiquity.

          It is the simile that reinforces the humanness of the term "son of man", for
          the one referred to was not a son of man, only like one -- and Daniel shows
          us what a son of man is in 8:17.

          We are left with the fact that a messianic use of "son of man" is not
          definitely attested to until we find it in Christian literature. The
          Similitudes of Enoch which has a figure called "the Son of Man" are not
          attested to among the DSS, though much of the rest of Enoch can be found there.

          Josef Milik, the editor of the Qumran Enoch fragments believes that the
          Similitudes are a second century effort. The "standard" usage of "son of
          man" in the DSS requires a late messianic use of "son of man", so Milik may
          be correct, although VanderKam goes for the first century. Paul shows no
          knowledge of the usage of the term son of man at all, suggesting that the
          expression was not even a messianic term in the earliest stratum of
          Christianity.


          Ian


          >as the later NT books
          >similarly interpreted - e.g. Stephen in Acts 7, Hebrews 2, & Revelation
          >(to which I referred in my previous post). The angel-like figure of
          >Dan.7 13

          (Not "angel-like", but "human-like". The "one like a son of man" was
          probably thought of in antiquity *as* an angel.)

          >recalls to mind Is.9:6 (LXX), "For a child is born to us...and
          >his name is called the Messenger (or Angel) of great counsel...."
          >
          >Margaret Barker wrote in *The Lost Prophet* (Enoch), "Thus in Daniel 7
          >'one like a son of man' is only a human figure. But in Enoch 'men' are
          >archangels. It is therefore likely that an angelic vision in Daniel will
          >have used similar terminology. 'A man' was an angel figure, or one who
          >had become angelic.... in other words, the son of man figure was a human
          >being who became divine and was given dominion. Like Enoch, Daniel also
          >has animals; in his vision they are the four fearful beasts."
          >
          >I agree. *Beast* & *man* in Daniel 7 did not mean *animal* & *human* -
          >the symbolic intent differed from the literal. Where an animal was the
          >written term, a human was meant. Where *man* was the written term, an
          >angel being was meant. You might find interesting reading in Barker's
          >book the chapter entitled, "The Son of Man".

          If it is not about Dan 7:13 then you might be right.
        • Bernard Muller
          Douglas W Kincaid wrote: So in Daniel 7 where the terms *beasts* (7:3-ff - lion, bear,etc.) & *Man* (7:13) occur, were literal animals and a natural human
          Message 4 of 8 , Nov 5, 1998
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            Douglas W Kincaid wrote:


            So in Daniel 7 where the terms *beasts* (7:3-ff - lion, bear,etc.) &
            *Man* (7:13) occur, were literal animals and a natural human being like
            you or I meant? I don't think so. Dan.7:17 continues with, "These
            great *beasts*, which are four, are four *kings*." So we read in
            Daniel that those animals symbolized humans (not literal animals).

            Bernard write:
            I studied extensively the Book of Daniel and I agree with the beasts
            symbolizing kings.
            Here is the correspondence according to my research:
            a) Lion, Belshazzar the last ruler over Babylon.
            b) Bear, Cyrus of Persia.
            c) Leopard, Alexander the Great.
            d) The fourth beast, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, the Seleucid king.

            Bernard
            For explanations, see http://www.concentric.net/~Mullerb/danrv.shtml
          • KWhitt@aol.com
            In a message dated 11/5/98 7:32:51 PM Eastern Standard Time, mc2499@mclink.it ... Maurice Casey, Son of Man: The Interpretation and Influence of Daniel 7
            Message 5 of 8 , Nov 5, 1998
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              In a message dated 11/5/98 7:32:51 PM Eastern Standard Time, mc2499@...
              writes:

              > We are left with the fact that a messianic use of "son of man" is not
              > definitely attested to until we find it in Christian literature. The
              > Similitudes of Enoch which has a figure called "the Son of Man" are not
              > attested to among the DSS, though much of the rest of Enoch can be found
              > there.
              >

              Maurice Casey, Son of Man: The Interpretation and Influence of Daniel 7
              (London: SPCK, 1979) examines this issue (originally his Ph.D. dissertation)
              to determine the origin of the "Son of man" sayings. The work is composed of:
              1. Introduction - setting forth the problem, method and outline of the work,
              2. a survey of Dan. 7 itself, 3. evidence from the Syrian church concerning
              the saying, 4. Western thought, 5. Jewish evidence, 6. Book of Revelation, 7.
              NT epistles, 8. main attack of the Son of man problem, 9. His theory and
              solution.

              Casey notes that there are 2 main problems of methodology: 1) use of materials
              whose date is questionable and often unascertainable, and 2) determining true
              literary dependence, i.e., determining which sources drew from Dan. 7 & those
              that may just be similar.

              He determines that there are 2 levels to the saying: 1) a general reference to
              humanity, and 2) a personal reference made to the speaker (an Aramaic
              idiomatic way of saying "I," see p. 228).

              Keith Whitt
            • Ian Hutchesson
              ... Casey probably got #2 from Geza Vermes. But it is not attested to in the times prior to the first century, so I can t see that it is particularly relevant
              Message 6 of 8 , Nov 5, 1998
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                >Casey... determines that there are 2 levels to the saying: 1) a general
                >reference to humanity, and 2) a personal reference made to the speaker (an
                >Aramaic idiomatic way of saying "I," see p. 228).

                Casey probably got #2 from Geza Vermes. But it is not attested to in the
                times prior to the first century, so I can't see that it is particularly
                relevant to Dan 7:13. The interest in this discussion was in the
                significance of the Daniel passage, not what came from it.


                Ian
              • joe baxter
                ... so, who can say that something so specific is meant?
                Message 7 of 8 , Nov 6, 1998
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                  >Date: Thu, 05 Nov 1998 21:37:22
                  >To: Bernard Muller <Mullerb@...>
                  >From: joe baxter <joseph@...>
                  >Subject: Re: The Man/Son of Man
                  >
                  >At 05:52 PM 11/5/98 -0700, you wrote:
                  >>Douglas W Kincaid wrote:
                  >>
                  >>
                  >> So in Daniel 7 where the terms *beasts* (7:3-ff - lion, bear,etc.) &
                  >> *Man* (7:13) occur, were literal animals and a natural human being like
                  >> you or I meant? I don't think so. Dan.7:17 continues with, "These
                  >> great *beasts*, which are four, are four *kings*." So we read in
                  >> Daniel that those animals symbolized humans (not literal animals).
                  >>
                  >>Bernard wrote:
                  >>I studied extensively the Book of Daniel and I agree with the beasts
                  >>symbolizing kings.
                  >>Here is the correspondence according to my research:
                  >>a) Lion, Belshazzar the last ruler over Babylon.
                  >>b) Bear, Cyrus of Persia.
                  >>c) Leopard, Alexander the Great.
                  >>d) The fourth beast, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, the Seleucid king.
                  >>
                  >
                  >The text says these are the product of an dream. Sure sounds like one. If
                  so, who can say that something so specific is meant?
                  >
                  >With kind regards,
                  >
                  >Joe
                  >
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