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.
associate of Gaius Julius and was consul with him in 44 BCE when Gaius Julius was murdered. After the Ides of March, according to Cicero, Mark Antony was said to have stolen the papers of Gaius Julius and produced fraudulent handwriting of Caesar to give orders of his own22. He also claimed to be Gaius Julius de facto heir, being senior member of Caesars staff. It is not surprising, therefore, that Octavian was quick to seize upon the name and reputation of Gaius Julius by styling himself as Caesars legitimate son adopted or not and the rightful heir23. Octavian started using the name in 41 BCE when he was first recorded, as a member of Triumviri Rei Publicae Constituendae, Imp. Caesar Divi f.24. Therefore, name very early in his political career Octavian started call himself the heir of Gaius Julius. The significance of the title is evident, because thereafter Octavian was called Caesar divi f. in every inscription and legend, long before and even after he was given the honorable name of Augustus by the Senate. It is also probable that the motivation for his adopting the title as part of his name was more political than religious, even though in ancient times offices of religion and politics were intertwined. If this was the case, it would be safe to assume that the name divi filius was not a pre-existing element of the Roman state cult but was an invention of Augustus due to the special political and religious circumstances under which he was placed.