« AnteriorContinuar »
Had the Prophet used man instead of son of man, could one have concluded, that the word man was intended as a distinguishing title of the Messiah ? It will hardly be pretended. Yet the argument would have been the same; for the terms are synony
איש ben adam , and בו אדם ,pressed in the Hebrew
There are two phrases by which this may be ex
, , 12 ben ish. When these two are contrasted to each other, the former denotes one of low degree, the latter one of superior rank. Thus bene adam ubene ish are in the Psalmsrl rightly rendered in the common version low and high. The first bene adam is, in the Septaugint, translated ynYevels, in the Vulgate, terrigena, earth-born, or sons of earth, in allusion to the derivation of the word adam, man, from a word signifying ground or earth. The same ben adam, is the common appellation by which God addresses the Prophet Ezekiel, which is rendered by the Seventy ‘vue avSpwnto, and frequently occurs in that Book. The son of man, therefore, was an humble title, in which nothing was claimed, but what was enjoyed in common with all mankind. In the Syriac version of the New Testament, it often occurs, where the term in the Greek is simply ανθρωπος, man.
That it was never understood by the people in our Lord's time, as a title of the Messiah, or even a title of particular dignity, is manifest from several considera
71 Psal. xlix. 2.
tions. In the first place, though Jesus commonly takes it to himself, it is never given him by the Evangelists, in speaking of him. He is never addressed with this title by others, whether disciples or strangers. Several honourable compellations were given him, by those who applied for relief, as, xvple, didaoxane, rabbi; sometimes he is addressed son of David, sometimes son of God, and on one occasion he is called he who cometh in the name of the Lord. The two last titles may reasonably be supposed to imply an acknowledgment of him as Messiah. Now, if the title son of man had been thought, even in any degree, respectful from others, we should certainly have had some examples of it, in his lifetime. Further, our Lord was in the practice of denominating himself in this manner, at the very time that he prohibited his disciples from acquainting any man that he was the Messiah. What purpose could this prohibition have answered, if the title he commonly assumed, in the hearing of every body, was understood to be of the same import ? It is urged further, that this phrase is used in the Apocalypse ", in describing the vision which the Apostle John had of his Master. The answer is the same with that given to the argument founded on Daniel's vision. First, the phrase is not entirely the same with that by which Jesus distinguishes himself in the Gospel. Our Lord calls himself o 'vios T8 avspuns, the son of man; John says, 'quovov 'viw
avspuns, without any article, one like a son of man, that is, in the human form. It is indeed evident that he is speaking of Jesus Christ ; but this is what we gather from the whole description and context, and not from this circumstance alone.
g 14. But, whatever be in this, there are several titles which, in the writings of the Apostles and Evangelists, are peculiarly applied to our Lord, though they do not often occur.
I have already mentioned ο ερχομενος εν ονοματι κυριε, and ο υιος Δαβιδ. . Add to these 'o azios to ©£8, the saint, or the holy one of God, 'o EXLEXTOS T8 €8, the elect, or the chosen one of God, both expressions borrowed from the Prophets. Now, though these terms are in the plural number susceptible of an application to others, both angels and men; they are, in the New Testament, when in the singular number, and accompanied with the article, evidently appropriated to the Messiah.
DISSERTATION THE SIXTH.
INQUIRY INTO THE DIFFERENCES IN THE IMPORT OF SOME WORDS
COMMONLY THOUGHT SYNONYMOUS
Several words in the New Testament considered by our translators as synonymous, and commonly rendered by the same English word, are not really synonymous, though their significations may have an affinity, and though sometimes they may be used indiscriminately. I shall exemplify this remark in a few instances of words which occur in the Gospels.
Διαβολος, Δαιμων, AND Δαιμονιον. The first of this kind, on which I intend to make Some observations, are διαβολος, δαιμων, and δαιμονcov, all rendered in the common translation almost invariably devil. The word daßonos, in its ordinary acceptation, signifies calumniator, traducer, false
accuser, from the verb diaßazdelv, to calumniate, &c. Though the word is sometimes, both in the Old Testament and in the New, applied to men and women of this character, it is, by way of eminence, employed to denote that apostate angel, who is exhibited to us, particularly in the New Testament, as the great enemy of God and man. In the two first chapters of Job, it is the word in the Septuagint, by which. the Hebrew 10w Satan or adversary is translated. Indeed the Hebrew word in this application, as well as the Greek, as been naturalized in most modern languages. Thus we say indifferently the devil or Satan; only the latter has more the appearance of a proper name, as it is not attended with the article. There is this difference between the import of such terms, as occurring in their native tongues, and as modernized in translations. In the former they always retain somewhat of their primitive meaning, and, beside indicating a particular being, or class of beings, they are of the nature of appellatives, and mark a special character or note of distinction in such beings. Whereas, when thus Latinized or Englished, they answer solely the first of these uses, as they come nearer the nature of proper names. mark extends to all such words, as cherub, seraph, angel, apostle, evangelist, messiah.
$ 2. Alaboros, I observed, is sometimes applied to human beings. But nothing is easier than to distinguish this application from the more frequent application to the arch-apostate. One mark of dis