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.
phrase u(io\j qeou= refers. It would also invoke special attention in any Markan reader, because the title was reserved for Augustus only: the greatest emperor who ever lived and now was a god.
The challenge Mark poses to the Roman imperial cult, therefore, becomes conspicuous through the centurions confession. Marks use of diction not only echoes that of the Roman imperial cult but also it challenges the most revered figure of the cult the emperor Augustus himself. C. Evans has suggested that the features and terminology used in both the incipit and the centurions confession echo the language particular to the Roman imperial cult 40. His argument has merit considering the verbal similarity between those two passages. The unique feature in both verses seems to be the absence of the definite article, because the other title of Jesus in the incipit, Xristou=, does not have the definite article either (cf. 9,41). Gundry has argued that its double anarthrousness stresses the quality of Jesus divine sonship 41. Therefore, Marks use of anarthrous u(io\j qeou= to express Jesus divine sonship at the very beginning and near the end of the Gospel seems to suggest strongly that both occurrences should be taken in the same light as Christian and confessional.
Markan treatment of the title "Son of God"
Investigating how the title "Son of God" is used in the Gospel of Mark will surely go beyond the scope of this study. Here it will