thereby to indicate that He was the Man of God in contrast to the Man of Sin
|November 7, 2011||Posted by webmaster under All text of Schweitzer Quest Jesus, chapter seventeen||
Thus Lietzmann had predecessors; but they were not so in any real sense. They had either started out from the Marcan passage where the Son of Man is described as the Lord of the Sabbath, and endeavoured arbitrarily to interpret all the Son-of-Man passages in the same sense—or they assumed without sufficient grounds that the title Son of Man was a later interpolation. The new idea consisted in combining the two attempts, and declaring the passages about the Son of Man to be linguistically and historically impossible, seeing that, on linguistic grounds, “son of man” means “man.”
Arnold Meyer and Wellhausen expressed themselves in the same sense as Lietzmann. The passages where Jesus uses the expression in an unmistakably Messianic sense are, according to them, to be put down to the account of Early Christian theology. The only passages which in their opinion are historically tenable are the two or three in which the expression denotes man in general, or is equivalent to the simple “I.” These latter were felt to be a difficulty by the Church when it came to think in Greek, since this way of speaking of oneself was strange to them; consequently the expression appeared to them deliberately enigmatic and only capable of being interpreted in the sense which it bears in Daniel. The Son-of-Man conception, argued Lietzmann, when he again approached the question two years later, had arisen in a Hellenistic environment, on the basis of Dan. vii. 13; N. Schmidt, too, saw in the apocalyptic Bar-Nasha passages which follow the revelation of the Messiahship at Caesarea Philippi an interpolation from the later apocalyptic theology. On the other hand, P. Schmiedel still wished to make it a Messianic designation, and to take it as being historical in this sense even in passages in which the term man “gave a possible sense.” H. Gunkel thought that it was possible to translate Bar-Nasha simply by “man,” and nevertheless hold to the historicity of the expression as a self-designation of Jesus. Jesus, he suggests, had borrowed this enigmatic term, which goes back to Dan. vii. 13, from the mystical apocalyptic literature, meaning thereby to indicate that He was the Man of God in contrast to the Man of Sin.
Holtzmann felt a kind of relief in handing over to the philologists the obstinate problem which since the time of Baldensperger and Weiss had caused so much trouble to theologians, and wanted to postpone the historical discussion until the Aramaic experts had settled the linguistic question. That happened sooner than was expected. In 1898 Dalman declared in his epoch-making work (Die Worte Jesu) that he could not admit the linguistic objections to the use of the expression Son of Man by Jesus. “Biblical Aramaic,” he says, “does not differ in this respect from Hebrew. The simple and not is the term for man.” . . . It was only later that the Jewish-Galilaean dialect, like the Palestinian-Christian dialect, used for man, though in both idioms the simple occurs in the sense of “some one.” “In view of the whole facts of the case,” he continues, “what has to be said is that Jewish-Palestinian Aramaic of the earlier period used for ‘man,’ and occasionally to designate a plurality of men makes use of the expression . The singular was not current, and was only used in imitation of the Hebrew text of the Bible, where belongs to the poetic diction, and is, moreover, not of very frequent occurrence.” “It is,” he says elsewhere, “by no means a sign of a sound historical method, instead of working patiently at the solution of the problem, to hasten like Oort and Lietzmann to the conclusion that the absence of the expression in the New Testament Epistles is a proof that Jesus did not use it either, but that there was somewhere or other a Hellenistic community in the Early Church which had a predilection for this name, and often made Jesus speak of Himself in the Gospel narrative in the third person, in order to find an opportunity of bringing it in.”
 H. Lietzmann, “Zur Menschensohnfrage” (The Son-of-Man Problem), Theol. Arb. des Rhein. wissenschaftl. Predigervereins, 1898.
 N. Schmidt, “Was a Messianic title?” Journal of the Society for Biblical Literature, xv., 1896
 P. Schmiedel, “Der Name Menschensohn und das Messiasbewugstsein Jesu” (The Designation Son of Man and the Messianic Consciousness of Jesus), 1898, Prot. Monatsh. 2, pp. 252-267.
 H. Gunkel, Z. w. Th., 1899, 42, pp. 581-611.
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