The Coming of the Son of Man in Mark’s Gospel -- By: Edward Adams

Journal: Tyndale Bulletin
Volume: TYNBUL 56:2 (NA 2005)
Article: The Coming of the Son of Man in Mark’s Gospel
Author: Edward Adams


The Coming of the Son of Man in Mark’s Gospel1

Edward Adams

Summary

This article defends the view that Mark’s sayings on the coming of the Son of Man (Mark 8:38; 13:24–27; 14:62) refer to Jesus’ parousia, against claims made by R. T. France and N. T. Wright. According to France and Wright, these sayings call attention to the vision of Daniel 7:9–14, in which ‘one like a son of man’ comes into the presence of God for the purpose of enthronement, and point to Jesus’ post-mortem vindication, not his second coming. It is argued here that the Markan passages in question link Daniel 7:13 with other Old Testament texts and motifs, in particular, texts (such as Zechariah 14:3) and images about God’s future coming to earth; the selective combination of Scriptures and scriptural images and their application to Jesus generates the essential concept of his parousia – his coming as exalted Lord from heaven to earth at the end of history.

1. Introduction

In Mark’s Gospel, Jesus makes three references to the future coming of the Son of Man (8:38; 13:24–27; 14:62).2 These sayings are normally

understood in terms of Jesus’ parousia, or eschatological return,3 but R. T. France and N. T. Wright have challenged the conventional interpretation.4 They maintain that Gospel sayings on the coming of the Son of Man have in view not Jesus’ second coming, but his vindication after death.

According to France and Wright, the Gospel theme of the coming of the Son of Man alludes to the vision of Daniel 7:9–14; it ‘is intended to conjure up the whole Danielic scene’ in which ‘one like a son of man’ comes to the Ancient One to take up his throne.5 Daniel 7:9–14, they point out, is not about the descent or return of the humanlike one to earth, but his coming to God for vindication....

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