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Novum Testamen tum X X X I , 2 (1989)


Princeton Theological Seminary

Types of Apposition In a discussion of English grammar, R. Quirk and S. Greenbaum distinguish non-restrictive from restrictive apposition. In non-restrictive apposition, the second appositive provides additional, parenthetic information not essential for identifying the referent, which is already identified in the first appositive. This type of apposition is " indicated in speech by separated tone units for the appositives and in writing by commas or more weighty punctuation. , , In restrictive apposition, on the other hand, the first appositive is viewed as a member of a class which can be linguistically identified only through the modification supplied by the second appositive. 1 Quirk and Greenbaum give the following illustration:
Non-restrictive apposition "Mr Campbell, the lawyer, was here last night " Restrictive apposition "Mr Campbell the lawyer was here last night" (1 e as opposed to any other Mr Campbell we know)

Consider now Mark 14:61b-64 in the R S V version:

Again the high priest asked him, "Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?" And Jesus said, "I am, and you will see the Son of man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven ' ' And the high priest tore his garments, and said, "Why do we still need witnesses? You have heard his blasphemy What is your decision?" And they all condemned him as deserving death

Almost without exception known to me, 2 translations and commen1 R Quirk and S Greenbaum, A University Grammar of English (London Longman, 1973) 9 45-48, 13 3 2 E Loyestam ("Die Frage des Hohenpriesters [Mark 14 61 par Matth 26, 6 3 ] , " SEA 26 [1961] 94-95) mentions, but rightly rejects, one alternative that 14 61 is to be understood as a double question ("Are you the Messiah? [Are you] the Son of God?") Nothing in the text would suggest such an understanding to Mark's readers



taries join with the R S V in construing the relationship between the titles " C h r i s t " and "Son of the Blessed" in Mark 14:61 as one of non-restrictive apposition. 3 The two appositives are separated in translation by commas, and the second, "the Son of the Blessed," merely supplements the primary identification supplied by the first, " t h e C h r i s t . " This reading leads easily to the conclusion of several scholars that the two titles are essentially synonymous in the Markan account. 4 The passage is thus taken to be parallel to 15:32, in which " M e s s i a h " and " K i n g of Israel" clearly are nonrestrictive synonymous appositives. It is the purpose of the present study, however, to challenge both the non-restrictive interpretation of the apposition in Mark 14:61 and the conclusion that the titles " C h r i s t " and " S o n of the Blessed" are to be understood synonymously. 5
3 Moffatt, N A B , NASB, N E B , N I V , Phillips, T E V translations, E Lohmeyer, Das Evangelium des Markus (Gottingen Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1951, o n g 1937) 326-28, V Taylor, The Gospel According to Saint Mark (Grand Rapids Baker, 1981, o n g 1950) 567-68, J Blmzler, Der Prozess Jesu (2d ed , Regensburg Pustet, 1955) 75, D F Nineham, Saint Mark (Pelican New Testament Commentaries, Middlesex Penguin, 1963) 397, W G r u n d m a n n , Das Evangelium nach Markus ( T H K N T 2, Berlin Evangelische, 1965) 299, E Schweizer, The Good News According to Mark (Atlanta J o h n Knox, 1970) 320, W Lane, The Gospel of Mark ( N I C N T , Grand Rapids Eerdmans, 1974) 535, R Pesch, Das Markusevangelium (2 vols , H T K N T 2, Freiburg Herder, 1976) 2 437, J Gnilka, Das Evangelium nach Markus (2 vols , E K K N T 2, Zurich Benziger/Neukirchener, 1978-79) 2 274, C S M a n n , Mark A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary (AB 27, Garden City Doubleday, 1986) 606, D L u h r m a n n , Das Markusevangelium ( H N T 3, Tubingen Mohr/Siebeck, 1987) 247 Some of the commentaries speak specifically of the " a p p o s i t i o n " of the two titles, by which they clearly mean nonrestnctive apposition 4 In the vocabulary of Quirk and Greenbaum ( 9 53), this type of nonrestnctive apposition is "reformulation," in which " a synonymous word or phrase may replace the first formulation in order to avoid misinterpretation or provide a more familiar or a more technical term " Lovestam ( " F r a g e , " 95) characterizes synonymity as the usual interpretation, see e g J Blinzler, Prozess 75, D R Catchpole, " T h e Problem of the Historicity of the Sanhedrm T r i a l , " The Trial ofJesus Cambridge Studies in honour of C F D Moule (ed E Bammel, SB 2nd senes 13, Naperville Allenson, 1970) 64, W Lane, Mark 535, D J u e l , Messiah and Temple The Trial ofJesus in the Gospel of Mark (SBLDS 3 1 , Missoula Scholars, 1977) 79, 82 T h e present study draws heavily on J u e l ' s excellent work, though it disputes his interpretation of 14 61-62 5 T h a t " S o n of G o d " qualifies " M e s s i a h " rather than being equivalent to it is not a new idea, cf e g J Schreiber, " D i e Chnstologie des Markusevangehums Beobachtungen zur Theologie und Komposition des zweiten Evangeliums," ZTK 58 (1961) 164, Lovestam, " F r a g e , " 104, D Juel, Messiah and Temple 78 (though Juel himself opposes this suggestion) Juel states the issue very well {Messiah and Temple 18) " W h e t h e r the force of the high priest's question is messianic in the



The Charge of Blasphemy One of the main problems with taking "Christ (= Messiah)" and " S o n of the Blessed (= Son of G o d ) " 6 as synonyms is that the charge of blasphemy in 14:63-64 then becomes difficult to understand. Why should Jesus' claim to be "the Messiah, the Son of G o d " be considered blasphemous 7 if "Son of G o d " is merely a synonym for " M e s s i a h " ? What is blasphemous about claiming to be the Messiah? One searches Jewish literature in vain for evidence that a simple claim to be the Messiah would incur such a charge. Although the Mishnaic limitation of blasphemy to pronunciation of the divine name {San. 7:5) probably reflects a later restriction of the charge, 8 it is likely that already in New Testament times blasphemy was defined as misuse of God's name. 9 This criterion is not met by the staking of a messianic claim if, as is normally the case in Jewish

proper sense, Son of God being understood as a synonym for Messiah, or is more 'Christian,' Messiah being defined by Son of God and the emphasis being on the Christian notion of Jesus' divine Sonship " What is new in the present study is the relation of this question to different kinds of apposition and to a specific Jewish background 6 M a t t 26 63 renders M a r k ' s " S o n of the Blessed" with " S o n of God " O n " t h e Blessed O n e " as a circumlocution for God, see D Juel, Messiah and Temple 77-79 Since " S o n of the Blessed" is equivalent to " S o n of G o d , " but the latter is a more familiar and less awkward phrase, it will be used in what follows even in renderings of ' * Son of the Blessed ' ' Noting that there are Jewish analogies ("the Holy O n e , Blessed be H e " ) but no exact Jewish parallels to " t h e Blessed O n e " in the literature known to us, Juel concludes that this is a "pseudo-Jewish expression " The fragmentary nature of our sources for first-century J u d a i s m , however, casts some doubt on the appropriateness of the prefix " p s e u d o - " 7 It is most likely that in the M a r k a n narrative as it presently stands J e s u s ' affirmation of the titles of 14 61 is meant to be seen as the immediate cause of his condemnation for blasphemy See the detailed discussions of the blasphemy charge by D R Catchpole {The Trial of Jesus A Study in the Gospels and Jewish Historiography from 1770 to the Present Day [SPB 18, Leiden Brill, 1971] 126-48) and D Juel {Messiah and Temple 97-107) T h e major alternative would be to see the cause of the condemnation as the Son of M a n saying in 14 62, but as Juel points out this saying "seems to function not as an independent source of information about Jesus or as a separate claim, but as a promise that Jesus will be vindicated as 'the Christ, the Son of the Blessed" (ibid , 105) 8 It is striking, however, that both the High Priest and Jesus avoid even the word " G o d " in 14 61-62, using instead the circumlocutions " t h e Blessed O n e " and " t h e P o w e r " , cf D Juel, Messiah and Temple 97 9 See D Juel, Messiah and Temple 97-99



texts, the Messiah 1 0 is simply a human figure from the line of David. 1 1 Two rabbinic traditions about the leader of the second Jewish revolt against the Romans in A . D . 131-135, Simon Bar Kozeba (Bar Kochba), drive home the point that a messianic claim is in itself an insufficient cause for a charge of blasphemy: 1 2
R Aqiba, when he saw Bar Kozeba, said, " T h i s is the King Messiah " R Yohanan ben Toreta said to him, "Aqiba 1 Grass will grow on your cheeks before the Messiah will c o m e ' " {y Tacanit 4 5) Bar Kozeba reigned two and a half years, and then said to the Rabbis, " I am the Messiah " They answered, " O f Messiah it is written that he smells and judges 13 let us see whether he [Bar Kozeba] can do s o " {b Sanhdrin 93b)

These traditions probably have an authentic historical core: it is likely that Bar Kochba was regarded as the Messiah both by R. Aqiba and by himself. 14 Of relevance for our study, however, is the
10 T h e absolute term " t h e M e s s i a h " is frequent in the N T , targumic, and rabbinic literature, but rare in the pre-Christian sources known to us In the Q L , for example, (ham)msiah is usually best translated " t h e anointed of " (see D J u e l , Messiah and Temple 115-116) However, I Q S a 2 1 2 does seem to show the absolute usage, here we find the Messiah {hammsiah = the Messiah of Israel) in the singular alongside the priest ( = the Messiah of Aaron) D Juel concludes that the absolute usage " w a s current at the time of Jesus, at least in some Jewish circles", cf M de J o n g e , " T h e Use of the Word 'Anointed' in the T i m e of J e s u s , " NovT 8 (1966) 147 " M e s s i a h " is " o n the way to becoming a standard expression " 11 I am aware of the diversity of Jewish messianic conceptions, and that the word msah could be applied to figures not of David's line, indeed, this fact is crucial for the line of thought I advance in what follows Nevertheless, even at Q u m r a n , where the Davidic Messiah is subordinated to the Priestly Messiah, there is a tendency to associate the word msah especially with the expected Son of David, see I Q S a 2 12, cited in the previous note, and cf M de J o n g e , " U s e " 141 O n the generally h u m a n lineaments of the Messiah in Jewish texts, see G F Moore, Judaism in the First Centuries of the Christian Era (2 vols , New York Schocken, 1971, o n g 1927-30) 2 349, E Schurer, The History of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus Christ (175 C AD 135), vol 2 (G Vermes et al , eds , rev ed Edinburgh & Clark, 1979) 518-519 12 Translations from J Neusner, Messiah in Context (Philadelphia Fortress, 1984) 189, 95 13 J Klausner paraphrases this clause, " H e has an instinct for who is right and who is w r o n g " {The Messianic Idea in Israel From its Beginning to the Completion of the Mishnah [New York Macmillan, 1955] 468) T h e phrase is derived from Isa 1 1 3 14 Scholars seem agreed that Bar Kochba was probably regarded as the Messiah by others, see e g S Abramsky, Bar-KkbP NesP Yisrl (Tel Aviv Massadah, 1961) 56, J Neusner, Messiah in Context 19, and by implication Schafer, Der Bar Kokhba-Aufstand (Tubingen Mohr/Siebeck, 1981) 55-57 Schafer, however, doubts that there is enough evidence to speak of Bar Kochba's own "messianic self-consciousness", (ibid , 57-58), but see S Abramsky, " B a r K o k h b a , " Enc Jud 4 230 " T h e messianic hopes which were cherished by the nation centered



fact that neither of the passages suggests that a messianic claim is in itself blasphemous. In the first passage, Aqiba's assertion of Bar Kochba's messiahship leads to nothing more than a rebuke for his foolishness. In the second, Bar Kochba's confession of his messiahship meets with a "wait-and-see" attitude from the rabbinical authorities, who suspend judgment until they can ascertain whether or not he produces authenticating signs. 15 Assuming, therefore, that the same basic attitude toward messianic claims prevailed in the first century as in the second, 16 it is difficult to see how Jesus could have been accused of blasphemy solely for claiming to be the Messiah, or how Mark (or the author of a putative pre-Markan Passion Narrative), 1 7 if he had any knowledge of Jewish attitudes to such claims and any concern for verisimilitude, 18 could have portrayed Jesus' claim to messiahship
around Bar Kokhba As might be expected from such a powerful, dominant personality, he himself probably had pretentions to being a redeemer and fostered these hopes " At least we have no traditions about Bar Kochba similar to the "messianic secret" passages in M a r k or J o h n 6 15 15 T h e passage from Sanhdrin 93b continues with the report that when Bar Kochba failed to produce such signs, the rabbis killed him This execution is legendary, since Bar Kochba was almost certainly killed by the R o m a n s in the siege of Bethar (see S Abramsky, " B a r K o k h b a " 235), on the late date of the passage, see J Klausner, Messianic Idea 468 Nor does the tradition provide evidence that messianic claims were considered blasphemous, the presumed reason for the execution is not the confession of messiahship itself but the fact that Bar Kochba has demonstrated that he is a false prophet and a deceiver {mst), and so is liable to the penalties of Deut 13 1-11, cf S Abramsky {NesP 56), who says that Bar Kochba is executed as a "false M e s s i a h " in this passage O n the mst charge, see D R Catchpole, Trial, passim, J L Martyn, History and Theology in the Fourth Gospel (2nd ed , Nashville Abingdon, 1979, o n g 1968) 73-81 16 It seems unlikely, contra J Blinzler {Prozess 78-79), that a more lenient attitude toward messianic claims developed in the time between Jesus and Bar Kochba Blinzler may well be right that the Pharasaic legal code that came into force after the failure of the first revolt was milder in many ways than the Sadducean code that prevailed up to that time (ibid , 109-115) But on the crucial point of attitude toward messianic claims, it is difficult to see J e s u s ' condemnation for blasphemy as a reflection of Sadducean stringency T h e Sadducees insisted on the letter of the O T law, but, as Blinzler himself acknowledges, " D a s A T gibt nirgends eme Definition des Gotteslsterung" (ibid , 78 39), and it certainly does not suggest that a messianic claim is blasphemous 17 For a survey of attempts to delimit a pre-Markan passion narrative, see M L Soards, " T h e Question of a Pre-Markan Passion N a r r a t i v e , " Bible Bhashyam 11 (1985) 144-69 18 D J u e l {Messiah and Temple 104-105) thinks that for Mark the messianic claim is the basis of the blasphemy charge, though he acknowledges that historically it has the least claim to probability O n the question of M a r k ' s knowledge of J u d a i s m , see J Marcus, The Mystery of the Kingdom of God (SBLDS 90, Atlanta Scholars, 1986) 83



as the cause of his condemnation. Certainly the possibility must be considered that he did not possess such knowledge or such a concern, but only after other exegetical possibilities have been explored. Is there another way of understanding the titles of 14:61 that makes more sense of the charge of blasphemy? "Son of God" as a Restrictive Appositive I would like to suggest that there is; the two titles are in restrictive rather than non-restrictive apposition, so that the second qualifies the first. According to the definition of restrictive apposition presented above, the first title, " C h r i s t , " is viewed as a member of a class which can be linguistically identified only through the modification supplied by the second, "the Son of God. " J u s t as the phrase " M r . Caldwell the lawyer" distinguishes this Mr. Caldwell from any other M r . Caldwell we may know, so the phrase " t h e Messiah-the-Son-of-God" distinguishes this Messiah from any other Messiah the Markan characters and readers might have in mind. The second title, "the Son of G o d , " far from being a synonym for " t h e Messiah," indicates what sort of messianic expectation is in view: not the Messiah-Son-of-David, nor the Messiah as the son of any other human being, but rather the MessiahSon -of- God. The Messiah-Son-of-Joseph This restrictive understanding of the apposition in Mark 14:61 makes it parallel to the usage found in some later rabbinic traditions, which attest the pair " Messiah-Son-of-David "/"MessiahSon-of-Joseph." 19 The latter term distinguishes a second figure, alongside of and subordinate to the more frequently-mentioned Messiah of Davidic descent. An example is provided by b Sukkah 52a:
O n the Messiah-Son-of-Joseph, see G F Moore, Judaism 2 370-71, S-B 2 292-99, J Klausner, Messianic Idea 483-501, H -W K u h n , " D i e beiden Messias in den Qumrantexten und die Messiasvorstellung in der rabbmischen L i t e r a t u r , " ZAW 70 (1958) 200-208, J Heinemann, " T h e Messiah of Ephraim and the Premature Exodus of the Tribe of E p h r a i m , " HTR 68 (1975) 1-5, rpt in L Landm a n , Messianism in the Talmudic Era (New York Ktav, 1979) 339-53, J Neusner, Messiah in Context 187-88



O u r Rabbis taught T h e Holy O n e , blessed be he, will say to the Messiah the son of David (may he reveal himself speedily in our days'), "Ask of me anything, and I will give it to you " But when he will see that the Messiah the son of Joseph is slain, he will say to him, " L o r d of the Universe, I ask of thee only the gift of 20 life "

Two different figures are in view; the one, the Messiah-Son-ofDavid, takes fright when he sees the fate of the other, the MessiahSon-of-Joseph. This Messiah-Son-of-Joseph (sometimes called Messiah-Son-of-Ephraim) was of great interest to an earlier generation of New Testament scholars, to some of whom his violent death in battle seemed to point to a Jewish background for the Christian idea of a suffering Messiah. 21 This opinion is now generally discounted because the texts that speak of the Messiah-Son-of-Joseph are late and because this portrait of the Messiah diverges significantly from the Christian portrait of Jesus. 2 2 Still, for our purposes it is significant that in Tannaitic sources the term " M e s s i a h " can be made more precise by the addition of the qualifier "Son-of-X" to indicate the descent of the Messiah in question. The Messiahs of Aaron and of Israel It is likely that such patronymic qualifiers of the noun " M e s s i a h " already existed in New Testament times. We know that in this period the title " S o n of David" was already in wide use for the more generally-expected figure.23 Furthermore, the Dead Sea Scrolls supply indirect but substantial evidence of the formula "Messiah-Son-of-X." There we hear of two figures, " t h e Messiahs
20 Translation slightly altered from J Neusner, Messiah 188-89 Neusner, following the Soncino translation, puts a comma after the word " M e s s i a h " m the phrase " t h e Messiah, the son of D a v i d " but not after the same word m the phrase " t h e Messiah the son of Joseph " It makes better sense, however, to omit the comma m both instances, since two Messiahs are in view It is significant that here msih ben dwd and msah benysfare translated " t h e Messiah the son of D a v i d " and " t h e Messiah the son of J o s e p h " respectively T h e inclusion of the definite article in the English translations makes them more closely parallel to M a r k 14 6 1 , where the literal translation of the Greek is " t h e Christ the son of the Blessed 21 See for example G H Torrey, " T h e Messiah Son of E p h r a i m , " JBL 66 (1947) 253-77 22 H e is essentially a military figure, his death has no atoning power, and no connection is made between it and Isaiah 53, S-B 2 297 23 See G Vermes et al (see above, note 11), History 2 518



of Aaron and of Israel." 2 4 Something must be understood between the word " M e s s i a h s " and the phrase "of Aaron and of Israel." The omitted word is not " t r i b e , " since neither Aaron nor Israel is a tribe. 25 I would suggest that it is, rather, " s o n s " ; the phrase "the Messiahs of Aaron and of Israel," refers to the "Messiah-Sn-ofA a r o n " and the "Messiah-&?rc-ofTsrael." We know from ancient Israelite inscriptions that such an ellipsis of the word " s o n " is a grammatical possibility in ancient Hebrew. In several of the inscriptions collected by Jaros, the name of a son is immediately followed by that of his father, and Jaros inserts the words " s o n of" in parentheses in his translation 2 6 This grammatical possibility becomes an exegetical probability when we investigate the O T background of the titles "Messiah of A a r o n " and "Messiah of Israel." Considering first the title "Messiah of A a r o n , " we recall that this title designates the priestly Messiah, 2 7 and that one of the commonest O T designations for

24 Despite the ambiguity of the phrase in the Damascus Document " t h e Messiah of Aaron and Israel" ( C D 12 23-13 1, 14 19, cf 20 1), it is incontroverti ble that at least some passages in the Q L distinguish the Messiah of Aaron from the Messiah of Israel, see 1QS 9 11, I Q S a 2 11-22, cf G K u h n , " T h e T w o Messiahs of Aaron and Israel," The Scrolls and the New Testament (K Stendahl, ed , New York Harper, 1957) 54-60, J A Fitzmyer, " T h e Aramaic 'Elect of G o d ' Text from Q u m r a n Cave 4 , " Essays on the Semitic Background of the New Testament (Sources for Biblical Study 5, Missoula Scholars, 1974, o n g 1965) 129-40, G Vermes et al , History 2 550-52 See also the contribution of L H Schiffman to the Princeton Messiah Symposium, "Messianic Figures and Ideas in the Q u m r a n Scrolls," 5-8, this paper will soon be published along with the other contributions to the symposium {The Messiah, J Charlesworth and J V Brownson, eds ) 25 " H o u s e " is a possibility, " h o u s e of Israel" is used frequently m the O T , ("Baytt," BDB 110), and " h o u s e of A a r o n " appears m Psalms 115 10, 12, 118 3, and 135 19, in all of which except 118 3 it alternates with " h o u s e of Israel " Since the " h o u s e " of a father consists of the line of his descendants, particularly of his sons (cf BDB 109-110), understanding the ellipsis to contain the phrase " o f the h o u s e " amounts to essentially the same thing as understanding it to contain the word " s o n " (Thanks to - Ruger for pointing this out to me m conversation ) 26 Jaros, Hundert Inschriften aus Kanaan und Israel Fur den Hebraischuntemcht bearbeitet ( F n b o u r g Schweizerisches Katholisches Bibelwerk, 1982) # # 7 , 16, 2225, 27, 42-43, 46, 57, and 59 T h e inscriptions are found on ostraca, seals, scaraboids, and one ovoid, their dates range from about 1200 C to the seventh century C , their sites include Samaria, Lachish, and Palestine In some of them, the n a m e of the son is placed above the name of the father, while in others the n a m e of the son directly precedes that of the father on the same line 27 In I Q S a 2 12 (restored), 19 this figure is referred to as " t h e Priest," and he appears alongside of " t h e M e s s i a h " or " t h e Messiah of Israel", see L H Schiff m a n , "Messianic F i g u r e s " 10




priests is " t h e sons of A a r o n , " 2 8 since all priests were supposed to be descendants of that illustrious ancestor. Indeed, in one O T passage " t h e priest" in the singular appears in apposition to " t h e son of A a r o n " (Neh 10:39). Further, two of the four passages that have been identified by scholars as generative texts for the Q u m r a n concept of the "Messiah of A a r o n , " Lev 6:15 and N u m 25:10-13, 29 use the term " s o n of A a r o n " for the priest, and the former speaks of him as " t h e priest of [Aaron's] sons who is anointed in his place" (hakkohn hammsiah tahtw mibbnw) . 30 Links are thus established in the O T between the concepts " p r i e s t , " " s o n of A a r o n , " and "anointed." It should come as no surprise, therefore, that in IQSa 2:12 the " P r i e s t , " the figure who is elsewhere called the Messiah of Aaron, is associated with " h i s brothers, the sons of Aaron, the priests." 3 1 Since they are sons of Aaron, it follows that he also is a son of Aaron. 3 2 There seem to be good grounds, therefore, for interpreting msyh ^hrwn as the "Messiah-Son-of-Aaron." This messianic descendant of Aaron is set over against, and
28 See Lev 1 5, 7-8, 11, 2 2, 3 2, 5, 8, 13, 6 9, 14, 7 10, 33-34, N u m 3 3, 10 8, J o s h 21 4, 10, 13, 19, 1 Chron 6 49, 54, 57, 15 4, 24 1, 3 1 , 2 Chron 13 9-10, 26 18, 29 2 1 , 31 19, 35 14, Neh 12 47 (cf "Ben," BDB 120-21 [j]) 29 M de J o n g e , " U s e " 139, A Dahl, "Messianic Ideas and the Crucifixion of J e s u s , " The Messiah (see 24) 2 9 1 T h e other passages mentioned by de J o n g e a n d Dahl are Lev 4 3, 5, 16 and Deut 33 8-11 30 Cf N u m 3 3, which speaks of " t h e sons of Aaron, the anointed priests" {bene ^Aharon hakkohanm hammsuhm) 31 This is the translation of E Lohse, Die Texte aus himran Hebrisch und Deutsch ( M n c h e n Kosel, 1964) Unfortunately, the text is fragmentary, and the word " s o n s " is part of the restoration It has been restored, however, not only by Lohse but also by all other translations I was able to check A S van der W o u d e , Die messiamschen Vorstellungen der Gemeinde von (Qumran (Studia semitica neerlandica 3, Assen V a n Gorcum, 1957) 98, G K u h n , " T w o M e s s i a h s " 56 A DupontSommer, The Essene Writings from (Qumran (Gloucester, Mass Peter Smith, 1973), G Vermes, The Dead Sea Scrolls in English (2nd ed , Middlesex Penguin, 1975) T h e reason for this restoration is doubtless the frequent O T apposition " t h e sons of Aaron, the priests" (Lev 1 5, 8, 11, 2 2, 3 2, N u m 3 3, 10 8, J o s h 21 19, 2 C h r o n 31 19, cf 26 18, 29 2 1 , 35 14, citations from BDB, "Ben," 120-21) 32 It is probably some such reasoning that leads A S van der Woude to speak of the Messiah of Aaron as the Messiah who is " t h e son of A a r o n " {"Christos," TDNT 9 [1974] 517-518) I n the G e r m a n original, van der Woude's word is " A a r o n i d " , similarly, L H Schiffman uses the word " A a r o m d e " for this figure ("Messianic F i g u r e s " 5) According to Webster's, the ending -id denotes " o n e belonging to a (specified) dynastic l i n e , " instancing the word " F a t i m i d " {Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary [8th ed , Springfield M e r n a m , 1981]) Cf M de J o n g e ( " U s e " 140), who speaks of the Messiah of Aaron as " t h e highpnest from the seed of Aaron ' '



clearly considered to be superior to, the lay Messiah, the Messiah of Israel. 33 Because of the parallelism between the two Messiahs ("Messiahs of Aaron and of Israel"), I would propose that the latter title also should be understood as containing the word " s o n " in ellipsis. Referring to the lay Messiah as a "son of Israel" makes sense in terms of Q u m r a n messianism, for it de-emphasizes this figure vis--vis the priestly Messiah, as is generally the case in the Q u m r a n literature. The lay Messiah would be referred to as the " Messiah-[Son] -o-IsraeV perhaps in order to avoid the honorific " S o n of David, ' ' a patronymic which would bring in its train a host of glorious biblical associations. The Messiah of Israel, in other words, would be that Messiah who, in contradistinction to the priestly Messiah, was only a ben-yisrl, the normal biblical term for an Israelite. 34 Thus it seems reasonable that " t h e Messiahs of Aaron and Israel" are to be understood as the Messiah-Son-ofAaron and the Messiah-Son-of-Israel, with " S o n of A a r o n " and " S o n of Israel" functioning as restrictive appositives. Restrictive appositives would be necessary because of the variety of messianisms in the postbiblical period. 35 As we have seen from our study of the Q u m r a n texts and of rabbinic traditions, more than one Messiah was expected in some circles (sometimes alongside other redeemer figures not called "Messiah"). 3 6 Indeed,
33 O n the subordination of the Messiah of Israel to the Messiah of Aaron at Q u m r a n , see H -W K u h n , "Beiden Messias" 205-208, G Vermes, History 55051 In the messianic banquet described in I Q S a 2 11-12, the " P r i e s t " takes precedence over the Messiah of Israel in matters of ritual and doctrine Cf the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs, where the same scheme of dual messiahship is present, and in which J u d a h declares, " T o me God has given kingship, to him (Levi) the priesthood, and he has subordinated the kingship to the priesthood" {T Jud 21 2-5) O n the relation between the messianism of the Testaments and that of Q u m r a n , see the works listed above and G K u h n , " T w o M e s s i a h s " 57-58 34 See BDB, "Ben," 120-21 35 O n this fluidity, see M de J o n g e , " U s e " 132, 139, J H e i n e m a n n , " M e s s i a h of E p h r a i m " 6, J Neusner, Messiah in Context 187, A Dahl, " I d e a s " 2 9-2 12 36 T h e second Messiah alongside of the Davidic Messiah is different in the Q L and the rabbinic traditions T h e " M e s s i a h of A a r o n " is not identical with the "Messiah-Son-of-Joseph," and it seems unlikely that the one developed out of the other {contra Schubert, " Z w e i Messiasse aus dem Regelbuch von Chirbet Qumran,"Judaica 11 (1955) 235, with H -W K u h n , "Beiden Messias" 201-205) However, it is perhaps going beyond the evidence when K u h n says that the two expectations have nothing to do with each other Rather, the Q u m r a n literature already indicates that not all messianic hopes fastened on the son of David, and that m a very fluid situation other " m e s s i a h s " could be considered



.A. Dahl goes so far as to say that a dual pattern, based on the dual O T expectation of a future Davidic ruler and a future Aaronite priest (e.g. J e r 23:17-26; Zech 3:6-8; 4.3-14; 6:9-13), was probably the n o r m . 3 7 In a situation of such fluidity, it would some times be advantageous, when using the term " M e s s i a h , " to make more precise which Messiah one had in view. O n e way of doing this would be by means of the restrictive appositive " S o n of X . " Mark 12 35-37 pars "Whose Son is He?"

We can see from a Synoptic passage, M a r k 12:35-37 (pars. Matt 22:41-46; Luke 20:41-44), that there might be some question as to whose son a messianic figure was. 3 8 This is clearest in Matthew's version of Jesus' introductory question: " W h a t do you think of the Christ?whose son is h e ? " As D. Hay observes, the placing of these two questions back to back links the mystery of the Messiah's nature with the mystery of his origin, and the pericope as a whole implies by its form and context that he is the son of someone besides David. 3 9 Similarly, the Lucan version of the pericope places the genitive " o f D a v i d " emphatically before the word " s o n , " so that Luke 20:41 should probably be translated, " H o w do they say that the Christ is David's s o n ? " 4 0 Again, it is implied that he is the son of someone else. Finally, the M a r k a n source of these two versions probably uses word order to make a similar point. As W . Wrede already pointed out in 1907, the order pothen autou estin huios ("how of him is he s o n ? " , 12:37) is odd. Wrede rightly suggested that this oddity was a deliberate stylistic device to put the emphasis on the word autou: " H o w is he then his [i.e. David's] s o n ? " 4 1
37 A Dahl, " I d e a s " 2 10, 2 10 1 J H e i n e m a n n ( " M e s s i a h of E p h r a i m " 4-6) opines that " t h e evidence suggests not 'duality' of Messiahs, but multiplicity," but he seems to be using the word " M e s s i a h " generally for any redeemer figure, whether or not he is called " M e s s i a h " 38 T h e relevance of M a r k 12 35-37 pars for my hypothesis was suggested to me orally by Bart E h r m a n , to whom also thanks for a thorough critique of an earlier draft of this study 39 D H a y , Glory at the Right Hand Psalm 110 in Early Christianity (Nashville/New York Abingdon, 1973) 116 40 Luke 20 41 is the only N T instance of the title " S o n of D a v i d " in which the word order is Dauid huios rather than huios Dauid O n the emphatic position of the genitive Dauid, cf T u r n e r , A Grammar of New Testament Greek, vol 3 Syntax (Edinburgh Clark, 1963) 217 41 Wrede's opinion is cited by D H a y {Glory 114 33), who, however, is skep tical of such syntactical subtlety on M a r k ' s part Such skepticism, however, seems



It seems, then, that in all three Synoptic versions a question is raised as to whose son the Messiah is, and as to whether or nor " S o n of David" is an adequate title for the Messiah. It would probably be best to translate Mark 12:35b by putting this title in quotation marks: " H o w do the scribes say that the Messiah is 'the Son of D a v i d ' ? " In other words, why do they think that this is an adequate title for him? For in the context of the whole Gospel (indeed of all three Synoptics), the question cannot be whether or not the Messiah is to be a physical descendant of David, elsewhere Jesus' Davidic descent is acknowledged 42 Rather, the question is whether designating Jesus "the Son of D a v i d " really gets to the heart of what Hay calls " t h e mystery of his origin " Plainly it does not, and this deficiency has to do with the forms assumed by the expectation of a Davidic Messiah in first century Judaism and Christianity. L. H Schiffman has recently drawn on the work of G. Scholem to speak of two poles of Jewish messianism, one "restorative," the other "utopian " 4 3 In the "restorative" strain, the messianic yearning is not for a catastrophic inbreaking of the new age but for an improvement and perfection of the present world by the reestablishment of the Davidic empire The "Utop i a n " strain, by way of contrast, nurses a discontinuous, apocalyptic messianic hope that God will destroy the old world and create a new one from its ashes. Schiffman goes on to link these two strains to contrasting messianic conceptions within the Q u m r a n literature: 4 4
Those texts which espouse the Davidic Messiah tend toward the restorative They therefore emphasize much more the prophecies of peace and prosperity, and do not expect the cataclysmic destruction of all evil T h e more catastrophic, Utopian, or even apocalyptic tendencies usually do not envisage a Davidic Messiah unjustified Both Matthew and Luke, in revising Mark, imply that Jesus is the son of someone else, and the word order in 12 37b, which H a y admits is odd, provides a plausible point of departure for these revisions Also to be rejected is the opinion of D Juel {Messianic Exegesis Chnstological Interpretation of the Old Testament in Early Christianity [Philadelphia Fortress, 1988] 142-44), who follows E Lovestam ( " D i e Davidssohnsfrage," SEA 27 [1962] 72-82) in claiming the point of 12 35-37 to be that Jesus is the son both of David and of God It is most natural to read the concluding question of the pericope (12 37b) as one that expects a negative answer 42 T h e Markan Jesus does not reject the cry of Bartimaeus in 10 47-48, and cf 11 10, see D Juel, Messianic Exegesis, 142, D Hay, Glory, 115-118 43 L H Schiffman, " T h e Concept of the Messiah in Second Temple and R a b binic L i t e r a t u r e , " Review and Expositor 84 (1987) 235-46, cf also idem, "Messianic F i g u r e s , " conclusion 44 "Messianic F i g u r e s , " 24-25



When we relate these suggestive observations to M a r k 12:35-37 pars., the problem with the title " S o n of D a v i d " comes sharply into 45 focus. T h e Messiah who is given this title is thereby designated as one whose task is primarily to reestablish the Davidic empire. Such a hope is not big enough to encompass the one who, according to Psalm 110:1, is to be at G o d ' s right hand as he displays his might 46 by an apocalyptic destruction of evil cosmic powers. As the O T passage is interpreted in M a r k 12:35-37 pars., David himself has acknowledged the Messiah's superior role; " S o n of D a v i d , " there fore, cannot express the fullness of Jesus' identity. 4 7 Although the title " S o n of G o d " is not explicitly used in any of the Synoptic ver sions of this pericope, it is probably implicit in all three Synoptic passages that Jesus is not just the Son of David because he is the Son of G o d . 4 8
45 As Schiffman puts it, the " u t o p i a n " Q u m r a n writings invest authority not in a Davidic Messiah but " i n an dominant priestly, religious leader and a tem poral prince who is to be subservient" (ibid ) T h o u g h Jesus is not pictured in M a r k 12 35-37 or m 14 61-62 as a priestly figure {contra G Friedrich, " B e o b a c h t u n g e n zur messianischen Hohenpriestererwartung in den Synop t i k e r n , " ZTK 53 [1956] 286-89), there is a certain resemblance to the Q u m r a n pattern in which the Davidic hope is generally suppressed in favor of a more transcendent conception of the Messiah's role 46 D H a y , Glory, 111 " T h e implication is that the messiah's kingdom will not be a mere renewal of David's " Cf ibid , 115, where H a y speculates that Luke may have avoided the title " S o n of D a v i d " (though he strongly emphasized J e s u s ' Davidic descent) " b e c a u s e it suggested that Jesus was merely a second David " 47 A difference must be recognized between M a r k 12 35-37 pars and the pro posed reading of M a r k 14 61 pars In M a r k 12 35-37 the subject is the Messiah, apparently the one-and-only Messiah, and the question of whose son he is In M a r k 14 61 ex hypothse, on the other hand, the restrictive appositive " S o n of G o d " is added to indicate which Messiah is in view, the Messiah-Son-of-God or some other Messiah, a plurality of Messiahs would seem to be presupposed T w o comments, however, are in order 1) This variation is no more radical than that found in the Q u m r a n literature or in rabbinic traditions In the Q L , " M e s s i a h " usually has to be qualified by " o f X , " but on one occasion ( I Q S a 2 12) hammsah is used to refer to the Davidic Messiah, see above In rabbinic traditions, " t h e M e s s i a h " is usually used alone without a restrictive appositive, thus implying only one Messiah, but it can occasionally be used with such an appositive ("Messiah-Sonof-David/Messiah-Son-of-Joseph"), thus implying two Messiahs 2) Sight should not be lost of the fact that the formulation in 14 61 is that of the high priest He m a y expect two Messiahs, that does not necessarily mean that J e s u s does 48 D H a y , Glory 109, J Gmlka, Evangelium 2 171, contra] Fitzmyer (The Gospel According to Luke [2 vols , AB 28, New York Doubleday, 1981-85] 2 1313), who claims that the title " S o n of G o d " has nothing to do with this episode T h e passage implies that someone greater than David is the Messiah's father (see above), the logical candidate is God Further, the passage cannot be hermetically isolated from the larger story, m which the title " S o n of G o d " is brought into close



The Messiah-Son-of-God This brings us back to Mark 14:61, where the high priest asks Jesus whether or not he is " t h e Messiah the Son of G o d . " If our line of reasoning so far has cogency, the assertion of D. Juel, that " t h e Messiah, the Son of G o d " is essentially another way of denoting the Davidic Messiah, 4 9 becomes questionable. O u r argu ment, rather, has been that " S o n of G o d " is a restrictive appositive, and that the accent falls on this title rather than on the title " M e s s i a h . " It indicates which messianic figure Jesus is being interrogated about; the high priest is not asking him whether or not he is the royal Messiah, the Messiah-Son-of-David, but whether or not he is the Messiah-Son-of-GW. Contrary to Juel, " S o n of G o d " is not simply a synonym for the Davidic Messiah in Mark 14:61. It is true that in 4QFlor 1:10-11 the divine promise of 2 Sam 7:14, " I will be his father, and he shall be my s o n , " is applied to the Davidic Messiah, 5 0 and that this sort of interpretation may have played a role in the application of the title " S o n of G o d " to Jesus. 5 1 It is conceivable that at some earlier point in the tradition, the title " t h e Messiah, the Son of G o d " in M a r k 14:61 may merely have been a reference to Jesus as the Davidic Messiah. 5 2 The question is whether it retains this meaning in Mark, or whether the title " S o n of G o d " has developed a higher sense, as Juel acknowledges it eventually did. 5 3
connection with Psalm 110 ( M a r k 14 61-62 pars , see below) Cf also the striking parallel in R o m 1 3-4 "seed of David according to the flesh, Son of God in power according to the spirit of holiness ' ' 49 It would be most compatible with such an interpretation to understand " S o n of G o d " in a low sense as a title indicating G o d ' s legal acknowledgment of his designated king Cf G Fohrer, "Huios," TDNT 8 (1972) 349-51, on O T passages such as Psalm 2 7 and 2 Sam 7 14 " T h e king of J u d a h was not G o d ' s son by nature and he did not by himself enter the divine sphere by enthrone ment H e was acknowledged as son by a resolve of Yah weh, and only thus could he have a share in the authority, possessions, and inheritance of God " J u e l ' s own position, however, is nuanced Although he interprets " S o n of G o d " in M a r k as a predominantly royal title, he admits that it may have additional components and associations, see Messiah and Temple, 114 50 J u e l , Messiah and Temple, 82, 110-111, cf Lane, Mark, 535 133 Another element of J u e l ' s argument is his observation that the royal title " k i n g of the J e w s " plays a major role in the mockeries of M a r k 14-15 51 T h e explicit title " S o n of G o d , " however, is missing in 4QFlor, see D J u e l , Messiah and Temple, 80, 111, cf idem , " O r i g i n , " 13-14, J A Fitzmyer, Luke 1 338-39 52 Assuming that the verse has not been wholly created by M a r k 53 D J u e l , Messianic Exegesis 81-82



A higher interpretation of the title is indicated by the progression of thought that leads from its use in 14:61 to the scriptural prophecy of exaltation and return in 14:62 to the charge of blasphemy in 14:63-64. That progression suggests that " S o n of G o d " (14:61) is understood in terms of participation in God's cosmic lordship (14:62; cf. Ps 110:1), 54 and that it is this participatory understanding of sonship that gives rise to the charge of blasphemy (14:63-64). 55 The Markan Jesus implies in 14:62 that he will sit at God's right hand and come with the clouds of heaven, 56 and that this description of a transcendent future indicates part of his understanding of the title he has just accepted, " S o n of G o d . " An approach to equality with God, then, is suggested, and this approach leads naturally to a charge of blasphemy on the part of his opponents. Support for this interpretation comes from observation of one of the earliest commentaries on Mark 14:61-65namely, Luke 22:67-71. Here the Jewish leaders first ask Jesus whether or not he is the Messiah. Jesus' answer implies that he is, and he goes on to prophesy his exaltation to God's right hand, using the imagery of Psalm 110:1 (the Markan reference to Dan 7:13 is reduced to use

54 Cf Barn 12 10, in which " S o n of G o d " is associated with Psalm 110 1 D H a y {Glory, 119) thinks that this association comes from a tradition that pre-dates Barnabas 55 See E Lovestam ( " F r a g e , " 96-107), who sees interpretation of Psalm 2 2, 7 in pre-Christian J u d a i s m and in early Christianity as crucial background for M a r k 14 61-62 Lovestam points to the way in which the psalm juxtaposes the concepts of " t h e Lord's anointed" {christon) and his " s o n , " as well as to the midrash on Psalm 2 7, which interprets that verse by means of Psalm 110 1 and D a n 7 13, the same two O T texts brought in by Jesus in M a r k 14 62 This observation supports our point that 14 61 cannot be considered in isolation from 14 62 Lovestam points out, however, that in the O T and Jewish texts, including the midrash, the Messiah remains a h u m a n being, though one with an extraordinary relation to God from whom he derives world-wide dominion, if this were the background of M a r k 14 61-62, J u e l ' s case would be supported But Lovestam adds that various passages in the N T also link Psalm 2 with Psalm 110 (e g H e b 1 5-13, 5 5-6), and that here the exaltation described in Psalm 110 1 is a cosmic dominion implying participation in God's majesty, which might very well be considered blasphemy in Jewish eyes 56 If 14 62 in some form goes back to Jesus, the use of the third person m the reference to the Son of M a n may indicate that the historical Jesus did not identify this expected figure with himself (on this distinction see R Bultmann, Die Geschichte der synoptischen Tradition [ F R L A N T , Gottingen Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1957] 117) For M a r k , however, Jesus definitely is the Son of M a n (see 2 10, 28, 8 3 1 , 9 9, 12, 3 1 , 10 33, 45, 14 2 1 , 41)



of the title " S o n of M a n " ) . The leaders then ask, "Are you then (oun) the Son of G o d ? " Jesus answers forthrightly that he is. The leaders respond that they have no need of further witness, suggesting that Jesus has condemned himself by his answer. It is clear from this passage that " M e s s i a h " and "Son of G o d " are two separate titles for Luke, or at least the exact nuance of " M e s s i a h " must be clarified by further questioning. Jesus' implicit affirmation of the title " M e s s i a h " in 22:67 is not enough to secure his condemnation; further interrogation is necessary in order to determine exactly which messianic figure he is claiming to be. The second stage of the interrogation opens with Jesus' prophecy of his imminent heavenly enthronement; the Jewish leaders assume (oun) that this prophecy is related to the title "Son of G o d , " and this assumption is implicitly affirmed by Jesus and forms the basis for his condemnation. "Son of G o d , " therefore, is not simply a synonym for the Davidic Messiah, but rather introduces an idea of quasi-divinity that is the basis of Jesus' condemnation 57 The twostage Christology here is similar to that found earlier in Luke, in 1.32-35, where the picture of Jesus as the Davidic Messiah appointed by God (1:32-33) gives way to the picture of him as the Son of God (1:35), with " s o n " understood in a quite realistic, almost biological sense. 58 The charge of blasphemy is plausible when "Son of G o d " is understood as participation m God's lordship, for some Jewish sources imply that claiming a heavenly enthronement for someone other than God could be considered blasphemous. In b Sanh. 38b, for example, R. Aqiba's assertion of the Messiah's heavenly lord57 See J A Fitzmyer, Luke 2 1463, G Schneider, Lukas, 2 470 O u r suggestion that the M a r k a n passage revolves around the title " S o n of G o d , " which qualifies the title " M e s s i a h , " makes unnecessary the distinction drawn by D R Catchpole {Trial, 143-48, 200) between the Markan pericope, in which the two titles are synonymous, and the Lukan pericope, in which they are distinct Also unnecessary, then, is Catchpole's conclusion that " M a r k 14 61 emerges as secondary theologically and influenced kerygmatically in a way which Luke is not " 58 Fitzmyer, Luke, 2 1467-68, 1 338-40, R E Brown, The Birth of the Messiah A Commentary on the Infancy Narratives in Matthew and Luke (Image Books, Garden City Doubleday, 1979) 312 Already in Luke 1 32 Jesus is called the " S o n of the Most H i g h , " and here the title, which is equivalent to " S o n of G o d , " is understood in the " l o w , " Davidic sense attested in 4QFlonlegium By the time one reaches 1 35, however, such an interpretation of Jesus' divine sonship has been left behind, since this verse speaks of his conception without the aid of a male parent



ship causes R. Jose to protest that he has profaned the Shekinah. 59 This protest at least comes close to a charge of blasphemy, and the reason for such a judgment is not hard to find. The exaltation of a h u m a n being to God's right hand suggests an approach to equality with God that infringes the incommensurateness and unity 60 of G o d . T h e openness of the title " S o n of G o d " to such blasphemous misunderstandings accounts for its relative disuse in Jewish sources, despite its biblical background in Psalm 2:7 and 2 Sam 7:14. 6 1 At the beginning of the Christian era, then, the tide " S o n of G o d " was ambiguous enough to be open not only to a low, Davidic interpretation but also to a high, quasi-divine interpretation. When used to distinguish a figure from the Davidic Messiah, as we have shown to be the case in the phrase "Messiah-Son-of-God," it would have fallen on Jewish ears as a claim to commensurability with G o d . 6 2 In such a situation, the only possible response for one not predisposed to acknowledge Jesus' words as divine revelation would be that of the high priest: " W h y do we still need witnesses? You have heard his blasphemy."
Aqiba interprets the plural " t h r o n e s " in D a n 7 9 one for the Ancient of Days, one for David, see J u e l , Messiah and Temple, 101, cf S-B, 1 1 0 1 7 - 1 0 1 8 , D R Catchpole, Trial, 140-141, A F Segal, Two Powers in Heaven Early Rabbinic Reports about Christianity and Gnosticism (SJLA 25, Leiden Brill, 1977) 94-95, 209 73 60 See M a r k 2 7, J o h n 10 33, cf Lovestam, " F r a g e , " 107, Segal, Two Powers, passim 61 Cf above on the absence even from 4QFlor of the explicit title " S o n of G o d , " as well as J u e l ' s good discussion of indications in rabbinic and targumic traditions that the title was expressly avoided as a designation for the Messiah {Messiah and Temple 80, 108-109, cf Lovestam, " F r a g e , " 95-96) In the T a r g u m on 2 Sam 7 14, for example, the promise " I will be a father to him, and he will be a son to m e , " is translated, " I will be to him like a father, and he will be before me for a son " An even more drastic weakening is found in the T a r g u m on 1 C h r o n 17 13 " I will love him like a father loves his son, and he will be before me like a son to his father" (my translations) J u e l comments, " T h e language [of the biblical passages] was understood as suggesting too real a view of sonship by the Targumists and was consequently modified" {Messiah and Temple, 111) 62 T h e high Chnstological claim made in M a r k 14 61-65 supports the view that this passage, at least in its present form, reflects the Chnstology of the early church rather than the historical events of J e s u s ' trial Contra O Betz ( " P r o b l e m e des Pro z e s s e s j e s u , " ANRWll 25 1 565-647), who takes the M a r k a n passage as basically historical, but seems to waffle on the question of whether the cause of J e s u s ' con demnation for blasphemy was merely a messianic claim, or whether it was a claim to equality with G o d (see esp 636)

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