Son of Man

This term occurs 82 times in the Gospel and, except on one occasion, is always used by Our Lord. There can be no doubt that the term is genuine, and that by it Our Lord meant to designate Himself. But why did He by preference call Himself the Son of Man? Some critics have thought that in the Aramaic of those days the speaker used to designate himself in this manner (as the Spaniards use usted, or vuestra merced, to designate the person spoken to; but after Dalman's thoroughgoing research this view is no longer tenable. Rather, Our Lord adopted the title both to reveal and to hide His messiasship. It was regarded by the Jews as messianic, and hence by applying it to Himself Our Lord to all appearances claimed to be the Messias; on the other hand, it did not bear that sinister anti-Roman meaning which the Jews had then given to other messianic titles.

New Catholic Dictionary

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