Tae Hun Kim, «The Anarthrous ui(o\j qeou= in Mark 15,39 and the Roman Imperial Cult», Vol. 79 (1998) 221-241
This article points up evidence by which the language of the Roman imperial cult might help make clearer what a reader of Mark's Gospel might understand when the centurion (Mark 15,39) refers to Jesus as ui(o\j qeou=. Knowing how an audience familiar with this cult language would react, Mark intentionally speaks of Jesus as ui(o\j qeou= at 1,1, as well as at 15,39.
In recent studies of the Gospel of Mark the centurions confession in 15,39 has become a topic of active discussion as a key to the understanding of Markan christology. The common line of interpretation seems to follow the earlier work of V. Taylor that Mark intended the centurions confession as a parallel to the same ephitet in the incipit (1,1) that confesses the deity of Jesus in the full Christian sense 1. R. H. Gundry has suggested that the identification of Jesus as Christ and Son of God in 1,1 and 15,39 transformed the crucifixion from the shameful death of a common criminal into the awe-inspiring death of a divine being who is Gods appointed agent 2. Mark 15,39, therefore, came to be viewed as the consummation of the development of Markan christology. J. D. Kingsbury has argued that the centurions acclamation is pivotal because it constitutes the first open confession of Jesus as the Son of God on the part of a human being in Mark 3. This line of interpretation that understands the confession as Christian is based on the reading of the anarthrous ui(o\j qeou= as definite, according to E. C. Colwells study of the Greek article 4.
Recently, some have raised questions regarding the meaning of the anarthrous ui(o\j qeou= and the great emphasis placed on 15,39 as the kernel of Markan christology. Earl S. Johnson has argued that though Colwells rule does provide substantial supporting evidence, there are enough exceptions to the rule to leave the question open to debate 5. If Johnson were correct, it weakens the