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The Coming Son of Man Revisited

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image of Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus

The interpretation of the synoptic Son of Man is still a formidable swamp with no consensus emerging. Unfortunately, one of the most interesting suggestions, the collective interpretation of Manson, Moule and Gaston, has been somehow left by the wayside. It has certain advantages, however, in respecting both the basic `generic' sense of an underlying Semitic expression and the Danielic kingdom imagery, without denying this expression for the historical Jesus. The present article focuses on the coming Son of Man sayings and demonstrates the plausibility of applying a collective interpretation to them. The result is an eschatology, focusing not on an individual redeemer figure, but on the manifestation of the Kingdom in community practice. Some suggestions are offered for how such an eschatology, based on a collective interpretation of the coming Son of Man, could `mutate' so quickly into the idea of a second coming of Christ.

Affiliations: 1: Stockholm School of Theology Bromma, Sweden, Email:


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