Who is the Son of Man?


Jesus declares Himself to be God by taking the title “Son of Man” for Himself as seen in the following passages:

1. Daniel prophesied that the Son of Man would be worshiped as God.

Daniel 7:13-14
13 “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. 14 He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.

2. Replying to the High Priest at His trial before the Sanhedrin, Jesus quoted the Daniel and applied this prophecy to Himself.

Mark 14:61-65
61 But Jesus remained silent and gave no answer. Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?” 62 “I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” 63 The high priest tore his clothes. “Why do we need any more witnesses?” he asked. 64 “You have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?” They all condemned him as worthy of death.


Paul did not abandon Jesus’ Jewishness. He was first and foremost a Hebrew from the tribe of Benjamin. Every time he went to a city, he preached first to the Hebrews in that place.


Jesus (Yeshua) said “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Matthew 15:24. It is clear what his purpose was. To be truly Messianic I follower of Jesus must also follow the faith in which he lived his life and for which he clearly states he came to save.


I think I kind of see where you’re going with this, but can you elaborate further?

True, but later He did also say, “Go and make disciples of all nations” in that very same gospel. Depends on whether you take that saying as authentic or not.


Make disciples as what ? Like him a Jew who came to save his people or to change the faith he held too ?


Jesus never commanded his disciples to convert anyone to Judaism. Jesus is the fufillment of the Mosaic Law. And it was Jews who kicked the Nazerenes out of their synagogues.


Most “Christians” forget the Jewishness of Jesus. Throughout history they have vigorously persecuted Jews. The Jews killed Christ was a common complaint. Jesus never ever said persecute the Jews but you did. The Romans crucified Yeshua. Those who watched and waited at the foot of the Cross and at the Tomb were ALL Jews. You are right Yeshua never said convert Gentiles. He did not say don’t convert them either.


Ironically the ‘Jews killed Christ’ canard stemmed from the original Jewish context of the Jesus movement. The (Jewish) disciples imitated the Old Testament trope of calling Israel out for its sins (e.g. Nehemiah 9:26; 2 Chronicles 36:14-16) and laid more responsibility on their own people for not accepting Jesus as the Messiah. It is actually the most Jewish of the four gospels that at the same time, the most anti-Jewish: Matthew and John.

Of course non-Jews inheriting this rhetoric would be (and was) a source of future trouble. No contest there.


Speaking for Paul at least:

Paul didn’t consider himself a ‘convert’ from one religion to the other. He didn’t consider his Jewish past to be an embarrassment or something negative; if anything, he continued to see himself as a member of the Jewish people - even somewhat flaunting his supposed Jewish identity - and saw the Jewish people as having a continuing significance in God’s plan (Romans 9-11).

What he claimed to have had was a powerful experience that he describes as a “revelation” of Jesus as God’s Son and Messiah, and a special calling to proclaim God’s welcome to non-Jewish peoples without their having to convert to Judaism (Philippians 3:4-16; Galatians 1:13-17).

That latter point is important: the reason why Paul opposed the imposition of the Mosaic law upon the gentile converts probably stems from a belief that Christ’s resurrection had inaugurated the special time foretold in the scriptures in which the non-Jewish nations would forsake their idolatry and turn to the God of Israel (Isaiah 60:1-7). The key thing is, these prophecies portray gentiles coming to God as gentiles, not as converts to Judaism. And Paul pretty much saw himself as being the one to bring about that special time to fruition.

And here’s the key question: “Would Paul have circumcised his son?” :wink: I agree with some people here and say ‘yes, he probably would have’. What Paul opposed IMO was the view that non-Jews must become Jews and practice Torah as a prerequisite for salvation and as a basis for a relationship with God, because this approach seemed to question the sufficiency of Jesus. That doesn’t mean that Jewish believers could not continue to practice Torah should they choose to do so, and since Paul considered himself a Jew, he still would have observed its laws for himself - but would not have imposed them on converted pagans.


What did he say of the Pharisees? “You go across the sea to convert a person and end up making him twice as devilish as yourselves.” Although those who did the actual execution were Romans, it was the Jewish authorities who clamored for his death. No one here advocates persecuting Jews. And many Christians were treated with hostility by their Hebrew brethren.


A pic of Jesus reading from the Prophet Isaiah.


Here is a nice explanation of Son of man…


To return to this post.

I don’t think Paul has abandoned Jesus’ Jewishness (or for that matter, Jewishness by itself), if by that you’re claiming that the earliest Christian controversy between the Jewish Christians and the gentile Christians revolved on the issue of Jesus’ identity or divinity. Because that was not the issue.

The controversy was rather about whether baptized gentiles should become Jews first in order to become ‘full’ Christians. As you know, those whom Paul called ‘Judaizers’ argued that gentiles must be circumcised in order to really become followers of Jesus: Torah observance is seen as obligatory.

Paul as mentioned however no longer saw the Torah as obligatory. It is no longer binding on everybody now that Jesus had come and inaugurated a new age. To say that Torah observance is still obligatory for salvation, he argued, questioned the sufficiency of Jesus. Now, “apart from the Law, the righteousness of God has been disclosed” in Jesus (Romans 3:21), and he is now the revelation that must be acknowledged in trust/faith. At the same time, however, Paul still affirms the Torah as a genuine revelation of God. For example, he rhetorically asks whether this new development (Jesus) overthrows the law - to which his immediate response is an emphatic “Absolutely not!” (Romans 3:31). He also saw the Jewish people as still having a significance in God’s plan (e.g., Romans 9-11).

At best, Torah observance was still an option for Jews like himself, as a cultural marker of their identity as Jews. If you’re a Jew, you could still follow the Law if you wanted to, just so long as you did not try to impose it on everybody else (non-Jews much more so), because in a post-resurrected Jesus age it is no longer the requirement to have a relationship with God - Jesus is now that new requirement.

AFAIK nowhere does Paul in his letters insinuate that Jewish believers in Jesus must forsake the Torah, contrary to what his opponents insinuated. In fact, in Acts 16:1-3, Paul has Timothy circumcised, apparently because his mother was Jewish and so he (Timothy) counts as a Jew. So it’s not as if Paul had a problem with circumcision itself, or even circumcising Jewish believers. It is the idea of gentiles having to be circumcised that he had a problem with. At best, you could accuse Paul of being too lenient to the non-Jews, but IMHO you can’t really accuse him of abandoning Judaism wholesale.

In fact, it’s not even Paul vs. James and Peter on this issue, at least at first. It was actually more like Paul and Peter vs. James. Peter apparently wavered when he and Barnabas refrained from eating with gentiles at the presence of the ‘Judaizers’ (effectively doing something that could be construed as denying the non-Jewish converts that they are somehow ‘not Christian enough’), which led to Paul upbraiding him in public.


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