What does the phrase “Son of Man” mean? We can make out what “Son of God” means, but what does “Son of Man” mean? Why are the two phrases “Son of Man” and “Son of God” used interchangeably in the scriptures? The explanation generally given is that Jesus wanted to show himself as both human and divine, so both these phrases were used by him. However, the phrase “Son of Man” is clearly used in Bible in divine context, to refer to Jesus as divine. Several phrases like “Son of Man will send out his angels,” “Son of Man seated at the right hand of God,” “Do you believe in Son of Man?” – these phrases tell us that the phrase Son of Man is being used to refer to Jesus as divine rather than as human. Some scholars tried to explain it by saying that “Son of Man” means “Sun of Man;” As per them, it is related to Sun worship, and all these crucified gods around the world are actually Sun Gods. Admitting this, I would say that even the phrase “Sun of Man” or “Sun of God” does not look convincing enough. Why would anyone call a Sun God as Sun of Man or Sun of God? This phrase is even more inexplicable; I would rather vote for the earlier explanation that “Son of Man” was used to refer to the human element in Jesus.
Even as we try to come out of this perplexity, we have another question staring at us on why God is divided into a Father, a Son, and Holy Ghost. God having a spirit that is distinct from him is not easily and readily intuitive; and the concept of anything being one and three at the same time is quite difficult to comprehend. Other scholars have gone and researched the crucified savior legends all over the world and have come up with the conclusion that this division of three originated from the supposedly pagan cults, like that of the Horus,Orisis,Isis of Egypt. This only throws up another question on why Egyptians or others found it necessary to divide their God into three from the theological perspective.
The questions have been quite daunting. It has been recognized by a large number of scholars by now that the concepts of Christianity did not originate with Jesus but have existed much before Jesus’ time, as attested by the large number of crucified savior legends and figures that existed across the world since ancient times. Kersey Graves, in his 1875 book, The World’s Sixteen Crucified Saviors, has identified sixteen crucified saviors around the world. Since then, researchers have been coming up with more and more crucified saviors from the nook and corners of our globe. There must be one central root figure in all of these, from where the Christ concepts actually originated from. If we can get at this root figure and the root theology, we can probably better answer the above puzzles related to the Christ concept.