Son of God, Son of Man

In the NT two phrases are used as identifications regarding Jesus of Nazareth. “Son of man” and “Son of God”. A lot of Christians seem to have a tendency to equate “Son of man” with Jesus’ humanity and “Son of God” with his divinity. This however, is far from being historically, textually and culturally correct. Both had been used long before Jesus, but as the Jesus of dogma took shape in the following eras loaded with anti-Jewish sentiments, these titles lost their original meaning and subsequently developed new ones.
Historically, the Children of Israel (the Hebrews) were called the “sons of God” as also were individual leaders, prophets and Kings etc. This was not even a phrase limited to the Hebrew people, but was also known in the surrounding pagan cults (e.g. Dan. 3:25, “bar elah”- depending on translation “son of god[s]”). In the Jewish teachings of Jesus’ time (Second Temple era) the term “son of God” never referred to lineage or deity (in the sense ofbeing the God of Israel or of the same substance), but rather to position and status in relation to the God of Israel. Jesus never referred to himself as “son of God,” (with a possible exception in Jn. 10:36) but only as “son of man”, his favorite phrase for identifying himself.
In Hebrew, the term son of man is ben adam, and can refer to humanity as a whole and is found numerous places throughout the Hebrew bible (Old Testament). In Aramaic, the term is bar enoshBar enosh only occurs in one place in the entire Hebrew bible, Daniel 7.
If Jesus was speaking to his audience in Aramaic, as scholars believe he was, and used the Aramaic phrase bar enosh instead of the Hebraic ben adam, he was causing his audience to make a connection to Daniel 7 and therefore a connection between himself and that eschatological bar enosh (son of man).
When a rabbinic teacher uses specific and perhaps unique phrasing which causes his audience to make a somewhat remote and (seemingly to modern readers) obscure connection, this is called “remez”, the R in the acronym PaRDeS, which are the different ways and methods of teaching. It means “hint.”

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