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Son of Man

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  • Son of Man

    • 1. Son of Man: The Interpretation and Influence of Daniel 7 (London: SPKC, 1979), by Maurice Casey
    • 2. The Son of Man Debate: A History and Evaluation (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), by Delbert Burkitt
    • 3. The Solution to the 'Son of Man' Problem (London: T. & T. Clark, 2007), By Maurice Casey
    • 4. The Expression 'Son of Man' and the Development of Christology: A History of Interpretation (London: Equinox Publishing, 2008), by Mogens Müller
    • 5. 'Who Is This Son of Man?': The Latest Scholarship on a Puzzling Expression of the Historical Jesus (London: Bloomsbury T. & T. Clark, 2011), Edited by Larry W. Hurtado and Paul L. Owen


    The first book on the list ― Casey's revised and rewritten doctoral thesis supervised by C. K. Barrett at the University of Durham, accepted in 1977 ― is now and forever out of print, with several scarce used copies selling for as much as $400 at Amazon. I say 'forever out of print' because the third book on the list is an updated version of the first, which makes the same case as the first: that is, it purports to be a presentation of "the solution to the 'Son of Man' problem". In fact, the final paragraph/sentence on the front inside dust jacket of the first book (the 1979 publication of Casey's thesis) says, "The book concludes by proposing a complete solution of the Son of Man problem", which = the title of the third book (Casey's last major publication after nearly three decades of debating 'Son of Man' studies with fellow scholars).

    In this thread I propose to post excerpts from Casey's out-of-print first book. Any and all comments will be welcome during the process.

    NB: Please note that I do not endorse Casey's thesis; rather, I propose to post it simply as information to stimulate thought and discussion. Anyone who is seriously interested in rebuttals to Casey's thesis will find such in the fifth book on the list presented above (i.e., the one edited by Casey critics and interlocutors Larry Hurtado and Paul Owen).
    Last edited by John Reece; 12-08-2014, 08:43 PM.

  • #2
    Son of Man

    SON OF MAN

    The interpretation and influence of Daniel 7

    MAURICE CASEY

    LONDON
    SPCK
    1979

    Preface


    This book is a completely revised and rewritten version of a thesis accepted for the degree Ph.D. at the University of Durham in 1977. I would like to thank all those many people who have helped me to produce it. I would particularly like to mention Professor C. K. Barrett, who supervised the research with a very rare combination of real help with the ability to leave my mind independent ....

    Comment


    • #3
      Son of Man
      Introduction

      The origin and meaning of the Gospel term 'Son of man' is a central problem for research into the Gospel traditions of the teaching of Jesus. None of the proposed solutions has won general acceptance. According to one widespread theory, the use of the term 'Son of man' in the Gospels is derived ultimately from Daniel 7.13, where Daniel saw 'one like a Son of man coming with the clouds of heaven'. In recent years this theory has taken a significant new turn, with the suggestion that it is written in Daniel 7 that the Son of man should suffer. If this theory had been right, it would have been of the utmost importance for our understanding of Jesus himself and for the interpretation of a fundamental group of Gospel sayings. Moreover, the failure of investigations of the Aramaic term בר אנשׁ, and of 'man' concepts in the ancient Near East, to lead to a satisfactory solution of the Son of man problem made it all the more imperative that a thorough investigation of the interpretation of Daniel 7 and the Son of man problem should be carried out. This book is the result.


      To be continued...

      Comment


      • #4
        Son of Man

        Continuation of Maurice Casey's Introduction to Son of Man: The Interpretation and Influence of Daniel 7:
        For this purpose I collected and analyzed evidence of ancient interpretation of Daniel 7, for it was evident from current scholarship that our knowledge of this was insufficient. The whole chapter was taken as a unit, to provide a complete context for the interpretation of the central verses 13 and 14. There were three general questions for this research to answer. How was Daniel 7 interpreted in the ancient world, especially in the time of Jesus and the Gospel writers? How much was it used in the very earliest period of Christianity? Thirdly, and most important of the three, what was the connection between its interpretation and use and the Son of man problem, both in Judaism and Christianity?

        To be continued...
        Last edited by John Reece; 10-26-2014, 11:27 AM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Son of Man

          Continuation of Maurice Casey's Introduction to Son of Man: The Interpretation and Influence of Daniel 7:
          The first of these questions required the survey of a considerable quantity of material. All published Jewish apocrypha and pseudepigrapha which might date from approximately the period of Christian origins were read, a procedure which showed that earlier scholars had found every single reference to Daniel 7 in this literature. Rabbinical literature was also surveyed. It was not possible to study only early sayings, because existing methods were not adequate for dating individual sayings which use Daniel 7. The whole rabbinical period was therefore covered, though the investigation was limited to published works, and the material was not read again; the investigation proceeded by means of collecting references from existing indexes and from previous scholarship. Some use was also made of medieval Jewish commentators, who occasionally preserved some very early interpretive material.

          To be continued...

          Comment


          • #6
            Son of Man

            Continuation of Maurice Casey's Introduction to Son of Man: The Interpretation and Influence of Daniel 7:
            For patristic evidence, all documents down to Eusebius were surveyed, and the Western Church's interpretation was filled out by reading the commentaries of Jerome and Theodoret. This was not however sufficient for the recovery of the author's original interpretation of Daniel 7, and for this purpose published commentaries and similar works from the Syriac-speaking Church were read, down to the end of the first millennium.

            To be continued...

            Comment


            • #7
              Son of Man

              Continuation of Maurice Casey's Introduction to Son of Man: The Interpretation and Influence of Daniel 7:
              Thus the limits of the investigation were set at points which enabled me to lay down the lines of the different traditions of interpretation of Daniel 7 in the ancient world, as well as to assess the nature and extent of its use in the most important period. The results have dictated the order in which the evidence is discussed in this book. In chapter 2 I have surveyed the evidence of Daniel 7 itself, to set out the way in which it was interpreted by its author, and hence to lay down a terminus a quo for his views. In chapter 3 I have dealt with the evidence of the Syrian Church, for it is here that there is most evidence of the author's original interpretation of the chapter, by means of which it can be shown that this interpretation was known in the time of Jesus. In chapter 4 I have dealt with the mass of evidence for the other interpretive tradition, held in the West by both Jews and Christians. The results discussed in these chapters are then utilized in the interpretation of evidence from the most important period. In chapter 5 the early Jewish evidence is surveyed, and chapters 6 and 7 discuss the book of Revelation and the New Testament epistles. The results of this research can then be used for the main attack on the Son of man problem in chapter 8. Here I have endeavoured to solve all the outstanding problems concerned with the interpretation and use of Daniel 7 by Jesus himself, the earliest Church, and the Gospel writers. This has led me to propose a partial solution to the Son of man problem, and I have tried to demonstrate that, as far as it goes, it is right. However, a partial solution is not enough, especially since failure to find the real origin of the Gospel term 'Son of man' has always been a major factor in the persistent attempts to extract it from Daniel 7, so in chapter 9 I have completed the theory and proposed a complete solution to the Son of man problem. The significance of this for current christological debate will be evident.

              To be continued...

              Comment


              • #8
                Son of Man

                Continuation of Maurice Casey's Introduction to Son of Man: The Interpretation and Influence of Daniel 7:
                The whole investigation had to contend with two serious problems of method. The first concerns the dating of the exegetical traditions. I have used evidence which must be dated after, and sometimes long after, the time of Jesus. The reason for doing this is obvious enough: earlier material required for answering the necessary questions has long since disappeared. This observation does not remove the problem. For this investigation, however, analysis of the evidence can in large measure provide the necessary substitute for early date. The techniques proposed here are not new. They are the normal techniques of modern historical research. The gap in time thus spanned is great, but not unique in historical work on the ancient world. What is less common is the application of these techniques to enable us to tap the resources of late Jewish and patristic exegetical works, and apply the results to Christian origins.

                To be continued...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Son of Man

                  Continuation of Maurice Casey's Introduction to Son of Man: The Interpretation and Influence of Daniel 7:
                  The second serious problem of method concerns the definition of 'literary dependence'. What criteria should be used in deciding when an author is dependent on Daniel 7? The answer to this question is difficult, but for this investigation we can get somewhere by drawing two lines which can be precisely drawn. When an author cites and quotes Daniel 7, he must be said to have had it in his mind. When an author's remarks have no verbal connection to Daniel 7 and have no contact with it in thought, it may be safely assumed that he did not have it in mind. These definitions may look so simple and obvious as to be otiose. However, the scope of this investigation was extended more than once to cover works which are explicitly commentaries on Daniel. One reason for their usefulness is that they fall on the easy side of the first of these lines―there is no reason for doubt that their author's have the Danielic text in mind.

                  To be continued...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Son of Man

                    Continuation of Maurice Casey's Introduction to Son of Man: The Interpretation and Influence of Daniel 7:
                    It is the area between these two lines which is difficult. For almost the whole of this investigation, I was concerned with conscious literary dependence, that is, dependence of which an author was aware and which is such that the author could, if he had so desired, have given an account of his interpretation of the Old Testament passage on which he was dependent. It is not a consequence of this definition that the account which an author could have given of his interpretation of an Old Testament passage should be consistent or should not be atomistic; only that he should have had an interpretation of which he could have given an account. By contrast I have made no attempt to uncover possible echoes of Daniel 7 which might be attributed to the subconscious mind of an author who knew the chapter very well, because the hypotheses that such an echo is present in a given verse is of no use, partly because it cannot be tested and partly because the workings of the subconscious mind are sufficiently devious to render any deduction that might be made from the presence of a supposed reminiscence of this type to an author's interpretation of the Old Testament passage in question dubious in the extreme. This definition does not of course exclude the possibility that an author did know Daniel 7 as well as this; it assumes only that in order to reach the conclusion that he did have such knowledge we must have more straightforward evidence that he knew it. I have diverged from this procedure only in chapter 8, where I have found criteria on the basis of which it was possible to conclude that in some cases there has been dependence on Daniel 7:13 at an earlier stage in the development of the synoptic tradition, but that the actual Gospel writers cannot be shown to have been aware of this dependence. This is the only section of the material where conclusions of this kind could be usefully sought and established. Here it is important to do so, both to answer the question as to the extent that Daniel 7 was used in early Christianity, and to take seriously the possibility that the term 'Son of man' might have been derived from Daniel 7 by Jesus himself, or at a stage in the development of traditions about him prior to the writing down of the Gospels. The situation was thus different from that involved in trying to assess the amount of use of Daniel 7 in the intertestimental period and in early patristic literature. Here demonstrable use of Daniel 7 by the authors of the documents is a satisfactory index of the amount of its use, whereas in the Gospel evidence it was necessary to examine the possibility that Daniel 7 had been influential in a manner unknown to the authors of the Gospels.

                    To be continued...
                    Last edited by John Reece; 10-31-2014, 06:14 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Son of Man

                      Continuation of Maurice Casey's Introduction to Son of Man: The Interpretation and Influence of Daniel 7:
                      Throughout the investigation, I used two criteria in considering cases of possible literary dependence. The first is verbal similarity. The second is that the thought of the dependent passage shall not be such as to be inconsistent with the hypothesis of literary dependence on the Old Testament passage in question. Similarity of thought on its own is not a sufficient guarantee of literary dependence, particularly where the thought in question occurs in documents other than those being considered. The application of such a criterion would moreover be especially hazardous in dealing with a period of history such as the intertestimental period, where most documents have long since perished, and an idiom of thought found in two documents written two hundred years apart may have been expressed in lost documents in the intervening years. Furthermore, the question as to what the authors of documents studied imagined the thoughts in Daniel 7 to be is to some extent at issue.

                      To be continued...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Continued from the last post above ↑

                        Continuation of Maurice Casey's Introduction to Son of Man: The Interpretation and Influence of Daniel 7:
                        It is unfortunate, but unavoidable, that the two criteria selected for use are lacking in mathematical precision. However, I do not think that, in the case of the material surveyed in this book, the results of this are serious. There are, it is true, cases where the question of literary dependence has not been finally resolved: 2 Baruch is the outstanding example. Usually, however, this is not the case. It is important that, while it is, both theoretically and practically, impossible to draw an accurate line in a specified place between literary dependence on the one side and lack of it on the other, it is contingently true that it is often possible to place a given document on one side or the other of that imaginary line. That is what is of practical importance, and it has been successfully achieved with almost all documents discussed, and in all cases that should be considered to be genuinely important. In doing it, I have provided more detailed discussions of the practical application of these criteria to particular sections of the evidence, and I have examined the outstanding efforts of previous scholars to do the same. Moreover, in the central example, the use of Daniel 7.13 in the Gospels, I was able to employ a completely different set of arguments to show that the group of Son of man sayings dependent on Daniel 7.13 was not significantly larger than careful employment of these two criteria had suggested. This confirmed the appropriateness of careful use of these two criteria.

                        We may now begin by establishing the original author's interpretation of Daniel 7.

                        To be continued...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Son of Man

                          Beginning of chapter 2, titled 'Daniel 7', in Son of Man: The Interpretation and Influence of Daniel 7, by Maurice Casey:
                          The place of Daniel 7 within the book of Daniel as a whole has been a major source of difficulty. While the book appears to divide into two parts at the end of chapter 6, chapters 1-6 consisting of stories and chapters 7-12 of visions, it is written in two languages, Daniel 1-2.4a, 8-12 being in Hebrew and 2.4b-7 in Aramaic, and this division puts Daniel 7 with the stories of 2-6 instead of with the visions. The linguistic division is fundamental, and formal grounds can now be found for classifying 7 with 2-6. If we view Daniel 2-7 as a unit, its stories appear to be chiastically arranged. On the outside are two dreams embodying the four kingdom theory, according to which the destruction of the fourth world kingdom will be followed by the divinely ordained triumph of the kingdom of God. Next, Daniel 3 and 6 are martyrologies, in which however the self-sacrifice of the heroes leads, not to their death, but to their deliverance by God. Thirdly, Daniel 4-5 correspond in the middle. Both concern rebellious kings. Nebuchadnezzar repented and obeyed, and was pardoned. Belshazzar did not, and was therefore destroyed.

                          To be continued...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Son of Man

                            Continuation of chapter 2, titled 'Daniel 7', in Son of Man: The Interpretation and Influence of Daniel 7, by Maurice Casey:
                            This complete collection puts forward a simple and unified message. While some, at least, of the stories depend on old traditions, all have very simple, straightforward, and vital relevance for a single author who used them when he and his fellows suffered persecution and war. God is supreme and faithful: he will punish our enemies, and deliver us. The different groups of stories stress different facets, though one should be careful not to analyse too strictly a form of expression whose whole nature is dramatic and illustrative rather than analytical. In 4 and 5 the judgment of the kings of the ruling empire by God stresses the supremacy of God himself. In 3 and 6, the accent is on the deliverance of the individual. In 2 and 7, the stress is on the destruction of the oppressors and the deliverance of the community.

                            To be continued...

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Son of Man

                              Continuation of chapter 2, titled 'Daniel 7', in Son of Man: The Interpretation and Influence of Daniel 7, by Maurice Casey:
                              The correspondence of 2 and 7 is especially important for this investigation. All ancient commentators make much of it, and anyone who finds that dreams and stories are natural modes of expression would regard it as more important than any formal distinction between 1-6 on the one hand and 7 on the other. The importance of Daniel 2 lies in 2:31-45, which consists of a dream and its interpretation, corresponding to the dream and interpretation of Daniel 7. It not wrong to point out also that Daniel 7 has actually got a narrative framework, verses 1 and 28, corresponding to the narrative framework of Daniel 2.1-30, 46-9, but it does no good to minimize the fact that 2.1-30, 46-9 is a fine story, whereas 7.1, 28 is only just there. The explanation of this difference lies in the contents of 2.31-45 and the nature of our author. Daniel 2.31-45 presents a pagan king having a dream of the future triumph. That is remarkable, and demands some sort of narrative setting. Daniel 3-6 shows clearly enough that the author had a natural gift for telling stories, so it is not surprising that the setting of 2.31-45 is a story of some length and considerable artistry, which has always attracted widespread admiration. The dream and its interpretation form a very good climax.

                              To be continued...

                              Comment

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