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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Note (16.) to HS - "Is the Holy Spirit a Person, God or an Impersonal Force From God?"

16. "It is almost certain that [the term 'Son of Man'] does not denote Christ's humanity but rather is a title with far-reaching messianic implications." - Today's Dictionary of the Bible, p. 591, Bethany House, 1982. (Emphasis mine.)

Jesus used the term "Son of Man" to describe "his future glory" and to "convey the whole scope of his messianic vocation as he conceived it." - p. 771, New Bible Dictionary, 2nd ed., Tyndale House, 1984. (Emphasis mine.)

The trinitarian publication by Zondervan, The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, wants to restrict the meaning of the "Son of Man" at Matt. 12:32 and Luke 12:10 to the human condition of the Christ, but admits the extreme difficulty of such an interpretation. "The saying about blasphemy and the Son of man (Matt. 12:31 f.; Lk 12:10) is particularly difficult to understand [for trinitarians, that is]." It then proposes that "Son of Man" means the "human" status of the Christ in these two scriptures, but then admits that even this unlikely interpretation is still very difficult since it denies the very context of Luke 12:8 f., "where the Son of man is a glorious figure who could hardly be blasphemed with impunity [if the trinity doctrine were really true]." - p. 628, Vol. 3, 1986 ed. (Emphasis mine.)

NIV Study Bible (1995 ed.), f.n. for Mark 8:31: "Son of Man. Jesus' most common title for himself, used 81 times in the Gospels and never used by anyone but Jesus. In Dan. 7:13-14 the Son of Man is pictured as a heavenly figure who in the end times is entrusted by God with authority, glory, and sovereign power. That Jesus used 'Son of Man' as a Messianic title is evident by his use of it (Mark 8:31) in justaposition to Peter's use of 'Christ' (v. 29). See note on Dan. 7:13." (Emphasis mine.)

"Son of man: A title ascribed to Jesus in the gospels and signifying his destined role in the conduct of the Final Judgment.... The use of the phrase as the designation of the coming final judge is probably due to Dan. 7:13.... The popular notion that 'son of man' indicates Jesus' humanity as 'son of God'* does his divinity is quite indefensible. The term, when used as a title [as in Matt. 12:32], as already indicated, properly means a supernatural figure charged with the superlatively great task of destroying evil and acting as a truly cosmic figure." - pp. 726, 727, An Encyclopedia of Religion, 1945 ed. (Article by trinitarian Bible expert Dr. Morton S. Enslin, Professor of New Testament Literature and Exegesis in Crozer Theological Seminary.) - (Emphasis mine.)

So we see that when Jesus used the title of "Son of Man" for himself he was including the understanding of his heavenly glorified self. If he is ever to be considered God himself, it certainly would be in his role of "Son of Man"! Therefore, his statement of Matt. 12:32 shows his inferiority to God even in his glorified heavenly state when trinitarians would have to say he is absolutely equal to God!

We should also examine Rev. 14:14-16 where we actually see the "Son of Man" in his heavenly glory carrying out his role in the "Final Judgment."

"There before me was a white cloud, and seated on the cloud was one 'like a son of man' [footnotes in NIV; NAB (1970), St. Joseph ed.; and GNB refer this to Daniel 7:13 - also compare Rev. 4:2-5; 5:1-7 with Dan. 7:9, 10, 13, 14] with a crown of gold on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand. Then another angel came out of the temple and called in a loud voice to him who was sitting on the cloud, 'Take your sickle and reap, because the time to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.' So he who was seated on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth, and the earth was harvested." - NIV.

Most trinitarian scholars admit that this "son of man" seated on the cloud is Jesus Christ in his heavenly glory and that John is clearly referring to the "son of man" found at Daniel 7:13, 14 [who as context shows is certainly not God]. (Robertson, Word Pictures, Vol. VI., p. 414; Barclay, The Revelation of John, Vol. 2, p. 116.)

But notice that the "son of man" seated on the cloud and wearing the Gold Crown is taking orders from "another angel" who is relaying God's commands. The heavenly, glorified, kingly "Son of Man" would not (if he were really God) be taking orders from anyone! Certainly God's commands would not have to be relayed to him by another angel! Some (even some trinitarian authorities) have interpreted the term "another angel" at Rev. 14:15 to indicate that the Son of Man is also an angel!

"The linguistic usage of Revelation 1:13 and 14:14 reveals affinities to Dan. 7:13. Both passages speak of 'one like a son of man' as walking ('amidst the lampstands') or 'sitting' on the clouds of heaven. Note too how Rev. differs from the Gospels in leaving out the article ["the"]; this is apparently an imitation of the text of Dan. 7:13: the apocalyptic 'Son of man' is the figure found already in Dan. 7:13, but now as a glorified ruler and judge. He is in all respects like an angel (Dan. 10:5; cf. Rev. 1:13; 14:15 - 'another angel' besides that of 14:14 [the Son of Man])." - p. 633, The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, Vol. 3, Zondervan, 1986.

At any rate there is never any indication that the heavenly, glorified "Son of Man" is, in any way, equal to God Himself! And there is plenty of evidence that he is not! (Cf. Act 7:55-56.)

* "Son of God: Hebrew religion was strictly monotheistic, and the term 'Son of God', as found in the O.T., must not be understood in any literal sense. It has its origin in the Semitic idiom which expresses any intimate relation as one of sonship. As royal ministers are sons of the king, so the angels are sons of God, and this name is likewise given to judges and sovereigns, ruling in God's name.... Christ is perfectly at one with the WILL of God and is thereby his Son." - p. 726, An Encyclopedia of Religion, 1945 ed. (Article by trinitarian Bible expert Dr. E. F. Scott, Emeritus Professor of New Testament Criticism, Union Theological Seminary.)

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