Rawlings School of Divinity


Master of Arts in Christian Apologetics (MA)


Anthony Chad Thornhill


Jesus Son of Man, Son of Man, Gospel of Mark, Son of Man Interpretations, Son of Man Debate, Son of Man Meaning


Christianity | Religion


Played out against the background of a chess game allegory, this thesis argues two key components to discovering Jesus’s self-identity in the Gospel of Mark. The first is that Mark’s depiction of Jesus’s Son of Man self-designation as a messianic interpretation is more plausible than its contemporary idiomatic interpretation. The second is that Jesus reveals His hidden Son of Man identity in Mark via a threefold strategic approach, which not only embodies His intent and mission through serving, suffering, and glorification, but also serves as a paradigm for the Christian witness and discipleship. The fourfold purpose of this study is to 1) glean information of Jesus’s self-knowledge and understanding as the Son of Man in Mark’s Gospel; 2) resolve any Second Temple Judaism interpretive issues in the text in order to determine its meaning and significance; 3) examine Jesus’s Son of Man strategy in Mark and its implications on contemporary Christian apologetics; and 4) contribute intellectually to the ongoing Son of Man debate conversations. The chapter divisions are arranged according to the Son of Man interpretations. The history of the Son of Man debate and the criteria of authenticity concerning Jesus’s sayings are presented in the first chapter. The Second Temple Judaism interpretations and a sampling of key Second Temple period Son of Man and messianic-related texts are offered in the second chapter. The fourteen Markan Son of Man exegetical interpretations, the outcome of the data, and Jesus’s Son of Man strategy are expounded upon in the third chapter. Finally, the contemporary apologetics interpretation of Jesus’s Son of Man strategy is illustrated in the conclusion.

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