Paul Danove, «The Rhetoric of the Characterization of Jesus as the Son of Man and Christ in Mark», Vol. 84 (2003) 16-34
This article investigates the semantic and narrative rhetoric of Mark’s characterization of the Son of Man and the Christ and the contribution of the portrayal of the Son of Man to the portrayal of the Christ. An introductory discussion considers the role of repetition in characterization, the nature of semantic and narrative frames and their implications for describing the implied reader of Mark, and the rhetorical strategies apparent in characterization. The study of characterization investigates the manner in which the semantic and narrative rhetoric introduces and reinforces frequently discordant content concerning the Son of Man and Christ and then relates developments concerning the Son of Man to the Christ. The study concludes with a consideration of the narrative function of the characterizations of the Son of Man and Christ.
previously cultivated beliefs are somehow deficient 19. Second, Jesus’ command not to believe when others identify someone as the Christ (13,21) and warning that false christs and false prophets will give signs and wonders to mislead the elect (13,22) indicate that pre-existing beliefs about the Christ are erroneous in that they accommodate deceptions about the identity of the Christ and permit the authorial audience to be misled20.
IV. The Characterization of the Son of Man
The direct characterization of the Son of Man is most apparent in the verbal repetition of the designation, two repeated contexts, and one repeated structure.
1. Verbal Repetition
Son of Man appears fourteen times (2,10.28; 8,31.38; 9,9.12.31; 10,33.45; 13,26; 14,21a.21b.41.62). The first two occurrences evoke pre-existing beliefs about the Son of Man’s present exercise of divine prerogatives and positive relationship with God in forgiving sins on earth (2,10) and regulating Sabbath practice (2,28). These occurrences do not present vocabulary that subsequently is repeated in relation to the Son of Man.
Repetition relates the remaining occurrences of Son of Man to particular vocabulary and cultivates beliefs in two distinct areas21. The first concerns the Son of Man’s near future experience and activity in being handed over (paradi/dwmi, 9,31; 10,33a.33b; 14,21.41; cf. 3,19; 14,10.11.18.42.44; 15,1.10.15 for Jesus), suffering (pa/sxw, 8,31; 9,12), being condemned (katakri/nw, 10,33; 14,64), being killed