Son of Man: an introduction

Dr Maurice Casey is one of but a handful of Biblical scholars in the world who is fluent in Biblical Aramaic, the language Jesus spoke. (Sorry KJV fans but Jesus did not speak English). The term Son of Man is not really normal Greek or natural sounding English, but it is good Aramaic. So what would Aramaic speaking Jews have made of Jesus when he referred to himself as bar nash? What did it mean? Here is a highly informative discussion of the language that Jesus actually spoke. There are a few surprises..


Maurice Casey, Jesus of Nazareth: An independent historian’s account of his life and teaching, page 358 onwards. Casey is Professor of New Testament Languages and Literature at the University of Nottingham, UK.



Categories: Bible, Jesus, New Testament scholarship

1 reply

  1. Slight correction: Bardaisan, literally ‘son of the river Daisan’, was not a Christian writer, as Mr Casey suggests, but a Gnostic Parthian Mystic whose writings would become cornerstones of the later pseudo-Prophet Mani. He was refuted in the writings of St Ephrem the Syrian, the genius of the Aramaic language, may his prayers be with us, who referred to him in his hymns:

    ‘And if he thinks he has said the last thing
    He has reached heathenism,
    O Bar-Daisan,
    Son of the River Daisan,
    Whose mind is liquid like his name!’


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