All philosophical, theological and political discourse issues from a presuppositional matrix. The communicator's ideas are characterized, influenced, and motivated by such a preexisting corpus of antecedent ideas, or embraced truth. I begin with the presupposition that Jesus understood perfectly and clearly who he was.His auto-noetic frame was accurate and complete. From such a substratum his ipssissima verba would proceed. Filtered through an Occidental mindset, in particular, a pragmatic philosophy, the words of Jesus have been denuded of their intrinsic authority and regenerative power.
The context in which we read the words of Christ must change, from a late Twentieth Century, techno-centric, hedonistic, materialistic, democratic state to a matrix of First Century Judaism. When the words of Christ are heard within the context of his day, and understood against the backdrop of Rabbinic Judaism, his words blaze with unsurpassed authority and cut like a two-edged sword (Isa. 49:2). He spoke with an authority unprecedented within the history of Israel (Ps. of Sol.
17:36, 43, Matt. 7:29, 24:35, Mk. 1:22, 27, Lk. 4:36). Utilizing a Messianic designation from the Old Testament and a title rich in apocalyptic color, Jesus would identify himself to his Judiac world. Jesus' "autobiographical designation", utilized 81 times in the gospels, was the title "Son of Man." Through this Messianic prism we shall see the transcendent dimension of Jesus' nature as defined by him. "Jesus chose it [title "Son of Man"] as the ideal expression for progressively and, to some extent, retrospectively, revealing the nature of his person and work." (D. Carson, professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Expositor's Bible Commentary, Vol. 8, p. 213) Jesus adopted and repeatedly alluded to the figure "Son of Man" from Daniel 7:13-14, "I kept looking in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven one like a Son of Man was coming, and He came up to the Ancient of Days and was presented before Him. And to Him was given dominion, glory and a kingdom, that all the peoples, nations, and men of every language might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion which will not pass away; and His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed." Daniel in vision sees four empires in succession depicted as bestial, verses 1-12, characterizing the savage, rapacious nature of their rule. But another figure comes upon the scene, he is conducted to the "Ancient of Days", the "Son of Man." In Hebrew, the phrase "Son of Man" is bar enosh. "Enosh" emphasizes the mortal, frail, creaturely, incurable nature of man in the bondage of corruption, in stark contrast to the four preceding images depicting the arrogant brutality of totalitarian power. Power exercised in the establishment and continuance of an empire's reign.
Dictatorial violence that stamps out any residue of resistance. But this figure (Son of Man) has acquired a kingdom not by military might or dictatorial tyranny, but through humiliation and suffering. In the title "Son of Man" there is a unitive exegetic presented, the multi-faceted significance of the humiliation and glorification of the Messiah is revealed.while Daniel 7:13-14 indeed speaks of the glorification of the Son of Man, it is in context a glorification and vindication through suffering. Both aspects of 1) humiliation and suffering, on the one hand, and 2) vindication and glory on the other, are signaled by the expression 'Son of Man'." (Richard N. Longenecker, professor of New Testament, Wycliffe College, University of Toronto, The Christology of Early Jewish Christianity, p. 87-88) In Rabbinical literature much is said regarding the passage in Daniel 7:13 as describing the Messiah. In the Talmud of Babylon Sanh.
fol. 98.1, Daniel 7:13-14 is reconciled with Zechariah 9:9. Joshua ben Levy said, "If Israel are worthy, the Messiah comes with the clouds of heaven; but if they are not worthy, he comes poor, and riding on an ass." Samuel ben Nachman (270 C.) said that according to Daniel 7:13, the angels accompany the Messiah as far as their precincts allow, while God then conducts him to Himself, according to Jeremiah 30:21 (Midrash on Ps. 21:7). In Zohar, Gen.
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