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.
that Augustus was eager to promulgate his title divi filius (or qeou= u(io\j from early on in his political career. Having said that, the relationship between the anarthrous u(io\j qeou= in Mark 15,39 and the title of Augustus becomes interesting, because now we cannot dismiss the anarthrous u(io\j qeou= as a grammatical mistake or a mundane praise for Roman emperors in general. Augustus was the greatest emperor (and/or head of state) the Romans ever had. As he himself mentions with pride in his Res Gestae 38, he put an end to the disorder and civil war and created a great empire in which people could live in peace and prosper, the likes of which they had not known, spanning most of the known world in this period.
Though Gaius Julius had created the foundation upon which Augustus built his empire, its making was entirely due to his own years of unrelenting labor. It was not mere flattery when people called Augustus savior, lord, god, benefactor, etc. To the minds of ordinary people he was every bit what they called and praised 39. If this anarthrous Greek phrase u(io\j qeou= in Mark 15,39 was in any way related to the title of Augustus divi filius (or qeou= u(io\j), then the absence of the definite article would not have mattered to any Markan reader who was contemporary to the Roman imperial cult because anyone would have found it obvious to whom this Greek