Benjamin E. Reynolds, «The 'One Like a Son of Man' According to the Old Greek of Daniel 7,13-14», Vol. 89 (2008) 70-80
While studies of the Old Greek (OG) of Daniel 7,13-14 are not uncommon, they are often undertaken as part of a broader examination of the 'one like a son of man'. Rarely, if ever, do these studies focus on the description of this figure in the
OG version and what readers of this version might have understood of this character. This study is an examination of the interpretation of OG Daniel 7,13-14, and the argument is made that the OG portrays the 'one like a son of man' as similar to the Ancient of Days and as a messianic figure.
The â€œOne Like a Son of Manâ€
According to the Old Greek of Daniel 7,13-14
Studies of the â€œone like a son of manâ€ in Daniel 7 typically follow the
description found in the Aramaic text of Daniel (1). Reference is made to the
two Greek versions of Daniel, the Old Greek (OG) and Theodotion (Q) (2),
when their support deviates from the Aramaic or offers some other relevant
insight (3). Although it is important to keep in mind the differences between
the Aramaic and Greek versions and the reasons for these differences (4), it is
also worthwhile to examine the interpretation provided by the OG because the
OG is a witness to a specific tradition of Daniel and since in some sense or at
some level, every translation is an interpretation (5). Jennifer Dines states:
Even if it is unclear whether a divergence between the LXX and the
MT comes from the translator or from his source-text, a difference of
interpretation between the two texts has significance. If nothing else, it
shows that there were different streams of tradition, and if the LXX
witnesses to some elements of interpretation which have not otherwise
been preserved in Hebrew [or Aramaic], it is a very important window
onto a period of biblical interpretation before the MT emerged as
(1) I am grateful for the various comments and questions given by those who heard
earlier drafts of this paper at the Society of Biblical Literature Greek Bible Section, 22
November 2007 and the Scottish Conference for Postgraduate Students in Theology and
Religious Studies, 8 June 2006.
(2) There are only three known witnesses to the OG text of Daniel in existence today:
Codex Chisianus 88 (9th-11th century CE), a Syriac version translated from the Greek called the
Syro-Hexaplar (7th century CE), and Papyrus 967 (2nd-3rd century CE). Only Papyrus 967 is
witness to the OG prior to Origenâ€™s reworking of the Greek Old Testament into his Hexapla.
See H.B. SWETE, The Old Testament Text in Greek (Cambridge 41912) III,xii-xiii (discussion
of ms. evidence); A. RAHLFS â€“ R. HANHART, Septuaginta (Stuttgart 22006); J. ZIEGLER,
Susanna-Daniel-Bel et Draco (Septuaginta 16.2; GÃ¶ttingen 1954); J. ZIEGLER â€“ O. MUNNICH,
Susanna-Daniel-Bel et Draco (Septuaginta 16.2; GÃ¶ttingen 21999); T. MCLAY, The OG and Th
Versions of Daniel (SBLSCS 43; Atlanta, GA 1996) 6-7; L.T. STUCKENBRUCK, â€˜â€œOne like a
Son of Man as the Ancient of Daysâ€ in the Old Greek Recension of Daniel 7,13: Scribal Error
or Theological Translation?â€, ZNW 86 (1995) 270. On P967, see A. GEISSEN, Der Septuaginta-
Text des Buches Daniel. Kap. 5-12 zusammen mit Susanna, Bel et Draco sowie Esther 1,1-2,15
nach dem KÃ¶lner Teil des Papyrus 967 (PTA 5; Bonn 1968). N. FernÃ¡ndez Marcos (The
Septuagint in Context. Introduction to the Greek Version of the Bible [Leiden 2000] 144) and
A. Schmitt (â€œDie griechischen Danieltexte [â€˜qâ€™ und â€˜oâ€™] und das Theodotionproblemâ€, BZ 36
 5, n. 14) date P967 to the second century AD.
(3) One possible exception is T.J. Meadowcroftâ€™s work on Daniel 7 (Aramaic Daniel
and Greek Daniel. A Literary Comparison [JSOTSS 198; Sheffield 1995] 198-244), but the
emphasis of his study is on the comparison of the Aramaic and OG and the possible Vorlage
of the OG.
(4) K.H. Jobes and M. Silva list five reasons for differences between the Greek OT and
the Masoretic Text (Invitation to the Septuagint [Grand Rapids, MI 2000] 92).
(5) See M.A. KNIBB, â€œThe Septuagint and Messianism: Problems and Issuesâ€, The
Septuagint and Messianism (ed. ID.) (BETL 195; Leuven 2006) 9; JOBES â€“ SILVA, Invitation
to the Septuagint, 86.
(6) J.M. DINES, The Septuagint (London 2004) 133.