When the Author of the Gospel of Mark referred to Jesus as "the Son of God" what did he mean?

St. Mark the Evangelist
by Anton Domenico Gabbiani

When I used to read through the Gospel of Mark as a Christian, I would see Jesus referred to as “the Son of God” and assume that the author used that term as Christians today use that term:  Jesus is the virgin born Son of God, the Second Person of the Trinity; Coequal with the Father, as eternal as the Father.

But is that what the author of the Gospel of Mark believed when he used that term about Jesus?

New Testament scholar Bart Ehrman says an emphatic “no”.  Here is an excerpt from his blog:

Let me define two terms I have been using:  Son of God and Messiah.   The term Son of God was used in a number of ways in ancient Jewish texts, including those of the Hebrew Bible.  It could be applied to angels (as in Genesis 6); to the nation of Israel (as in Hosea 11:1); to the king of Israel (as in 2 Sam 7:14); or (in other Jewish texts) to anyone who stood in a particularly close relationship with God who was used by God to mediate his will (as did angels, Israel, and the king) – for example Moses or other prophetic figures.

For Mark that’s who Jesus was.  But he was also the messiah.  The messiah too could be, and sometimes was, called the Son of God.

To read the full article, I strongly encourage you to become a member of Dr. Ehrman’s blog:  here


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