Jesus First Trial: Messiah and Son of God (Luke 22,66-71)

J. J. Kilgallen

Scholars are divided about the possible source(s) of Luke 22, 66-711; perhaps the best judgment in this matter of sources is that of J. Fitzmyer: "Ascription of vv. 66-71 to "L" [material proper to Luke] seems to be a better solution than a mere redaction of the Marcan parallel, though one cannot be apodictic about it"2. But, whatever one identifies as Luke"s source(s) for this episode, if one follows the Modified Two-Source Hypothesis, one cannot but assume that Luke made a number of decisions about what he found in Mark regarding the trial of Jesus before the Sanhedrin. In particular, Luke had to know that and how Mark presented the Sanhedrin"s concern about Jesus" being Messiah, Son of God and he must have determinedly chosen not to duplicate the Sanhedrin"s phrasing in Mark; "Messiah, Son of God". Luke"s separation of the two titles for Jesus is a deliberate choice, not the unintentional result from use of a source other than Mark; it was a choice taken for a specific reason, and it is to suggest and to discuss this reason that this essay is written.

Parallel Structures

If one looks at the structure of Luke 22, 66-71, one is first struck by the absence of certain factors that are found in other renditions of this trial, e.g., false witnesses and the charge that Jesus opposes the Temple (Mark 14,56-58) (and the claim of blasphemy [v. 64]). Luke has reduced the matter, from that point of view, to a focused concern only about the two titles, Messiah, then Son of God. The Sanhedrin"s purpose in pressing Jesus about these titles and nothing else comes clear in Luke"s episode just after the trial: the core charge there against Jesus before Pilate is that Jesus says he is Messiah, a king (23,2). The centrality of this accusation in the second trial helps make clearer why Luke concentrated on this title in the first trial.

But not only does Luke reduce his focus solely to the Messiah-Son of God question. Luke, knowing Mark"s story, intentionally separates the question about Messiah from that about Son of God3. Now, with one"s attention on the structure Luke has chosen for this trial story, and aware that Luke has chosen to present only the Christological question, one recalls an earlier structuring along the same lines as we find here, in the Annunciation story which opened the Gospel description of Jesus. There as here, Luke has presented a three-stage procedure by which to stress the Messiah-Son of God aspects of the identity of Jesus. The comparison is noteworthy.

1. In the Annunciation story, there is first presented a description of Jesus as Messiah of Israel (Luke 1,32-33). This description parallels the Sanhedrin"s opening gambit, "If you are the Messiah, tell us".

2. Then, in the Annunciation story, Mary offers a statement which will provoke a second response from the angel (Luke 1,34). So in this trial, Jesus will prophesy about the future and so will lead the Sanhedrin to a second intervention in the form of a question.

3. Finally, there is, both in the Annunciation (Luke 1,35) and in this trial scene, the key reference to the title "Son of God", placed intentionally at a distance from the title "Messiah".

(As a minor comparison, one may note how in each scene there is structurally the same type of alternation of voices: 1. the lead; 2. the reaction; 3. the lead again.)

That these three steps structure both the Annunciation and the trial scene before the Sanhedrin is clear and surely intentional. Is the purpose behind these two examples of the parallel structures the same? Consider the point of the double identification of Jesus in the Annunciation scene. It serves to condition the title "Messiah": to give the title a sense it never had in Tradition before, while at the same time assuring a definition to Jesus that exceeds the usual meaning of Messiah. The double identification by the angel also serves as an ongoing abiding interpretation of the adult Jesus, the Messiah of Israel, again with the understanding that Messiah and Son of God are quite different in what each says about Jesus. Considered from the point of view of literary device, this double identification serves as an introduction, with all that "introduction" means, as the rules of narratology would indicate.

In a similar, though not identical way, the repetition of the Annunciation structure in the trial structure suggests the following. First, since we are at the beginning of the legal process which will bring Jesus to death, this structure is meant to prepare the reader for the fuller appreciation of the identity of the one to be condemned. Second, the identifications of this person as Messiah and Son of Man should be clearly maintained; they are not synonyms, and are not to be exchanged one for the other without clear understanding of their irreducible differences. Third, while Luke suggests that the titles are not synonymous by his very separating them (contrary to Mark"s style), the three-step procedure of the trial, in that it is a conscious imitation and repetition of the Annunciation structure, indicates that the reason the titles are not synonymous is to be found in the introduction to the entire Gospel identification of Jesus: the Annunciation. Because of the repetition of the structure regarding Messiah-Son of God, we are forced to look back to the first example of the structure in order to bring forward the teaching of its story to the story in which we find the structure repeated.

The Beginning is the Trial

I have assumed that the two examples of parallel structure described above are both "beginnings". It is easy to see that the Annunciation can be called a "beginning", for it is the first scene to define the person Jesus. Can the trial before the Sanhedrin be rightly called a "beginning"? There are a number of points in the Gospel at which one learns that Jesus is to die. Perhaps the clearest beginning point is Luke"s rephrasing of Mark: "They were filled with rage (= foolishness) and began to discuss among themselves what they might do to Jesus" (Luke 6,11). Other moments which alert the reader to Jesus" death are certainly Jesus" own prophecies (Luke 9,22.44; 18,32-33) and his ominous words to open his Last Supper, "I have greatly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer" (Luke 22,15). And one usually includes in the story of Jesus" suffering such stories as Jesus" agony in the Garden and the denials of Peter. But, if one really wishes to point up the formal, legal beginning of Jesus" journey to death, one must go to his trials, and specifically to the first, that before the Sanhedrin. From this point of view, the trial before the Sanhedrin is a true beginning, and can be looked upon as analogous to the Annunciation scene, which itself is the beginning of the attempt to identify Jesus. And, in accord with that first attempt, the scene before the Sanhedrin is, as Jesus" life is decided upon, the right place to reaffirm the identity of the one about to be condemned to death. In this, Luke is drawing from the earlier Annunciation scene the meaning he wishes his reader to give to the one judged and condemned by the highest authorities of Palestine. The formal beginning, the trial, is the proper place to repeat the three-step procedure which reminds the reader of the revelation that Jesus is Messiah and Son of God, as related in the Annunciation scene.

Messiah and Son of God

By his first verse (1,1) and by the question he has the Sanhedrin put to Jesus (14,61), Mark may give the impression that Messiah and Son of God (Mark"s "Son of the Blessed One" in the trial of Jesus) are interchangeable titles. While Luke intends to remove this impression, in the Annunciation scene and again in this trial scene, the matter demands a distinction4. The distinction is between what the Sanhedrin meant when it asked, "So you are the Son of God?" and what Luke means when Jesus carefully answers, "I am".

The Sanhedrin and the Son of God

What did Luke"s Sanhedrin understand when it asked Jesus if he was the Son of God5? From the telling of the story, it is clear that it is Jesus" saying about the future sitting of the Son of Man at the right hand of the Power of God that gives the hint as to what the Sanhedrin understands the meaning of "Jesus, the Son of God" to be6. But why would reference to "the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power" lead the Sanhedrin to think about Jesus as Son of God? To understand the Sanhedrin in Luke 22,70, the statement of Jesus about the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power must be studied, even if briefly.

These words of Jesus are noted in modern copies of Luke as a citation from the Old Testament. Specifically drawn from the Old Testament is Psalm 110,1, and only these few words from the first verse: (The Lord said to my lord,) "Sit at my right hand". What Jesus said is not only a rephrasing of the psalm"s direct address, but also an interpretation that the one to whom the Lord is speaking is the Son of Man. Since a number of Son of Man statements are recognized by most scholars as attributable to Jesus himself, it is reasonable to think that it was Jesus who knew this composite7 interpretation of the Psalm, namely that it would be the Son of Man who was seated at the right hand of the Power8. My contention would be that the Sanhedrin, intent on the title Messiah, would ignore the specifics of a Son of Man reference — ultimately because it was not interested in Jesus" exegesis of the "my lord" of the Psalm9 — to concentrate on the crucial words it knows to be from the Psalm, namely that "my lord (David"s lord)" was "to be seated at the right hand of the Lord". The Sanhedrin, upon hearing this reference from Jesus, would sense that Jesus was claiming to be the "David"s lord" called to sit at the Lord"s right hand. Aware that Jesus is making an elliptical claim to be this "lord of David, to be seated at the Lord"s right hand", the Sanhedrin knows that Jesus is thereby claiming to be Messiah of Israel. How they know of a connection between Messiah and David"s lord is most immediately and simply explained by Luke"s Gospel. The dispute read in Luke 20,41-44, mirroring Mark 12,35-37, reveals that the common teaching of the time ("they say", v. 41) had identified the "lord" who was to sit at the Lord"s right hand as the Messiah of Israel. Thus, the Sanhedrin thinks it hears, in Jesus" referring Psalm 110 to himself, a claim that Jesus is Messiah.

But where in the Sanhedrin"s understanding of Psalm 110 and Jesus" claim to be its "lord" arises the term "Son of God"? The usual answer10 would likely be to note that the Messiah (David"s lord, according to the Psalm) was understood to be God"s son elsewhere in Tradition: such did God call David"s royal descendant at 2 Samuel 7,14; (in part Psalm 89,27). But one can add that Psalm 110 itself suggests that "David"s lord" is son of God. At verse 3 it is said (admittedly an unclear text in the standard Hebrew version, and made clearer through the Septuagint translation)11: "Yours is princely power in the day of your birth, in holy splendor; before the daystar, like the dew, I have begotten you". This particular verse, a part of a Psalm which speaks of a favored "son" of God, was easily linked to another Psalm (2,7): "The Lord said to me, "You are my son; this day I have begotten you""12. This matrix of Old Testament references13 is sufficient here to suggest that, in response to Jesus" hint at Psalm 110, the Sanhedrin thinks he is implying that he is the Messiah, son of God14. Hence, one can more readily understand that, for the Sanhedrin, Son of God is a synonym for Messiah.

The Messiah: the Concern of the Sanhedrin

I have already earlier referred to the fact that the way Luke presents the matter, the Sanhedrin is intent on presenting Jesus to Pilate as claiming to be Messiah King. This intention explains in part why the concern of the Sanhedrin is only on that title when it stands Jesus before itself. Whatever else Jesus may say about himself, then, is immaterial to the Sanhedrin15. Actually, in this vein, one notes that this "trial" is no true trial at all16. The story seems to say that the present goal of the Sanhedrin is not an unbiased or impartial determination as to whether or not Jesus is Messiah or has made that claim at an earlier time; rather the goal seems to be to get Jesus to admit now that he is Messiah. Nothing else matters; "the high priests and scribes were seeking how they could bring Jesus to death" (Luke 22,2) – apparently they had decided that the key to bringing him to death was his condemning himself "out of his own mouth". In any event, they themselves were not ignorant of the Messianic/Kingly claim about Jesus; they had heard the shouting: "Blessed is the one coming, the king, in the name of the Lord" (Luke 19,38)17.

The Messiah, The King — the Sanhedrin is looking for Jesus" word by which he condemns himself according to this title. The first demand, that Jesus say if he is Messiah, fails to achieve its goal. But18, when Jesus describes himself as David"s lord seated at the right hand of the Power, the Sanhedrin realizes that it has heard the claim to Messiahship19. To repeat and to finish, the Sanhedrin uses the term Son of God as a synonym for Messiah; it understands no more exalted meaning in this title, and so does not accuse Jesus of blasphemy.

Luke and the Son of God

But, if the Sanhedrin understands Son of God to be synonymous with Messiah, what does Luke understand by the title20? First, as argued earlier, the very structure of this trial hopes to make the reader remember the structure of the Annunciation, where one moves from the revelation about the Messiah to the revelation about the Son of God; by virtue of this structure the reader is asked to bring this sense of "Son of God"21 forward to this beginning point of the death of Jesus22. By this literary structural device Luke means to have the reader recall the fundamental revelation about Jesus, that he, Messiah (1,32-33), is at the same time significantly other than Messiah by dramatically presenting Son of God as a separate issue in the Annunciation of God.

Thus, the structure invites one to think of Son of God in its individuality, as this is described in the Annunciation. And what the Annunciation offers as content for this structure is the revelation that Jesus is Son of God, not by adoption, but after the manner of procreation23. Sonship is only adoptive where the Tradition about Messiah is concerned; thus, the meaning of "son of the Most High" (1,32) when the Angel means to identify Jesus as Messiah according to the Tradition. With Luke"s dramatic presentation of a second revelation, that of Son of God, Jesus is described as a person beyond all the meanings and expectations of Messiah which the Tradition over centuries had developed. The Messiah, when in the Third Gospel called Son of God, is for Luke engendered in the womb of a woman by a mysterious action of God"s Holy Spirit and power24. The non-sexual, creative intervention of God accounts for what is born of the woman, and leaves one with the logical conclusion that Jesus, her son and David"s progeny, is Son of God. Generated non-sexually by God, Jesus has no other cause of his physical being than the God who acts upon the womb of the woman so that a child be produced25.

Because of this intervention, the woman can describe herself as virgin. Because of this intervention one can explain the peculiar, mysterious, unique relationship occasionally glimpsed in the adult life of Jesus, a relationship expressed by Jesus in Father-Son terminology. Such a remarkable relationship it was that would lead him to say that only he, and those to whom he revealed his knowledge, knew the Father (Luke 10,22). This relationship, Luke insists through his Annunciation story, makes clear that the Father-Son terminology of Jesus" adult life cannot refer to adoptive kinship: Messiah in the Tradition would mean that, but, for Luke, it no longer means that.

Thus, when one reads a description of the opening "trial" of Jesus in Luke, one can be and should be very clear, with the help of the literary signals Luke gives, what Luke understands is the meaning of the question, "You are then the Son of God?" Leaving aside what the Sanhedrin meant by its question, the author wants his reader to remember that it is the Son of God, the one not adopted but engendered by God, who is experiencing now the decision that will bring him to crucifixion. It is the Son of God in this Lucan sense26 who falls prey to the plan of the priests and scribes, to have Jesus put away.

Son of God as Part of an Introduction

Is it realistic to say that a word spoken in Chapter 1,35 influences the meaning of what we read as far along as Luke 22,70? Sometimes it is noted that what is said about Jesus at Luke 1,35 is never stated again, in the Gospel of Luke or in Acts. The statement is true: there is no explicit reference in Luke"s works, nor a recalling by any character in his story, of what was announced at Luke 1,35. Should one make a distinction and say that explicit reference is lacking, but that leaves open the possibility of implicit reference? But still one would say: there is no place where, even implicitly, the text suggests a generation of Jesus as Luke 1,35 describes27. Indeed, faithful to the reports about Jesus" public life wherein no reference is made to his conception, Luke does not tinker with the stories of the public life, but overcomes any misunderstanding about Jesus the adult and his relationship with God by giving his reader the Annunciation story. But, still the persistent question: how is it that one, gifted with this story, is to carry its meaning forward throughout all of Gospel and Acts?

The answer to this question is that the Annunciation story is part of the introduction to Luke"s Gospel, and that the introduction has as one of its chief characteristics to alert the reader to the right way to interpret what will be said in the body of the narrative. Exegetes give witness to this literary principle when, for instance, they remark that the descriptive title "light for revelation to the nations" (Luke 2,32) will be applicable to Jesus, to varying degrees, as Luke-Acts develops. One obvious reason that they are right to say this is that this descriptive title, though never used again of Jesus in the Lucan works, is part of that introduction which, even if never repeated again in its details, is to be read into all that Luke wrote28. Who does not see that "light for revelation to the nations" is a proleptic guide to the identity of Jesus? Who then cannot see that Son of God, in the sense explained in Luke 1,35, is as well a proleptic guide to the identity of Jesus meant to influence the entire reading about Jesus?

Assumed here is that the beginning chapters of Luke are introductory to the entire work; specifically, the introduction runs from Luke 1,5 (after the prologue of 1,1-4) to 4,13. This essay is not concerned to treat this matter of introduction exhaustively, but a rehearsal of the basic reality is worthwhile, when we speak of Luke"s introduction.

The limit of the introduction is set at the point where Jesus begins his public life; in Luke, that beginning point is at 4,14. The reason for identifying the beginning of the public life as the end of the introduction is rooted in the perception that the material which explains the death of Jesus is only the public life of Jesus, never the material which anticipates his public appearance in Galilee. With the public life, the Jesus who has admittedly appeared already for temptation and baptism — this Jesus becomes finally the dynamic personage of the drama unfolding in public to his death. What then preceded that public life is meant literarily to be a help to the reader who, while on the one hand proceeding with others (like Peter, Pharisees, Herod, the sick, the sinner) through Jesus" life in search of his identity, on the other hand knows infinitely much more about Jesus, thanks to the introduction, than anyone who met him ever knew about him during his public life.

The limit of Luke"s introduction is also determined, for those who follow the Two-Source Hypothesis, by the extreme likelihood that Luke fashions his introduction according to the structure of the introduction in Mark"s Gospel. The introduction of this latter work extends over the first thirteen verses of Chapter 1, and is divisible into four parts or testimonies about Jesus: 1. Mark"s witness that Jesus is Messiah, Son of God; 2. John"s witness that Jesus will baptize with the Spirit of God; 3. God"s witness that Jesus is His beloved Son; 4. the desert"s witness that Jesus is the Messiah. This fourfold witness is the structure behind Luke"s introduction. His hand is obvious in the development of these four points, and in the addition of Jesus" genealogy. But it is clear that Luke limits himself by the four-point introduction used by his source Mark. Thus, as in Mark, so in Luke, the introduction ends with the appearance of the adult Jesus in Galilee, when the major player steps onto the public stage as catalyst who begins the work for which he is destined. Luke has an introduction, then, and his introduction has the characteristics of an introduction, a major characteristic being that it represents the author"s intent to present here what he expects the reader will carry with him throughout the work — in this instance, that Jesus is Son of God in the sense of that title Luke reveals in 1,35.

* * *

In his effort to focus the reader"s attention on the identity of the one who is condemned by two authorities in Palestine and thus sent to death, Luke reminds his reader that Jesus is Son of God in a mysterious and unique way, that Messiah of the Tradition must be understood through the reality about Jesus" sonship from God. He means to establish this reminder successfully by separating the two titles, Messiah and Son of God, which he saw joined together in Mark"s presentation of Jesus before the Sanhedrin. The structure he followed in his own presentation of the trial of Jesus is that of the Annunciation, a three-step procedure by which he hoped to alert the reader that the revelation given in the Annunciation story should be recalled in this trial story. One can imagine that Luke, by presenting Jesus as Messiah and Son of God in Luke"s sense, hoped to accomplish a number of things. One thing he hoped to accomplish is that the status of him who now suffers the final condemnation is clear: mysteriously related to the Father, it is the Son who, born holy, dies in obedience to the Father. Once again, the reader catches a glimpse of a relationship which remains, for all of Luke"s efforts, finally mysterious; Luke 1,35, however, is a precious guide to approaching this mystery correctly and it is by its guidance that one understands, in a way the Sanhedrin did not, what it means to call Jesus, the Messiah, Son of God.


Luke, according to the Two-Source Theory, read Mark. At the first trial of Jesus, that before the Sanhedrin, Mark has together: "Messiah, Son of God". Luke has intentionally separated the two titles. The present essay finds the explanation for separating Son of God from Messiah in the Annunciation scene of the Gospel. It is Luke"s intention that the reader understand Son of God in a way that admittedly the Sanhedrin did not. The laws of narratology indicate that Luke 1,35, a part of the Lucan introduction, be used by the reader to interpret Son of God at Luke 22,70.


1 Cf. D. BOCK, Luke II (BECNT; Grand Rapids 1996) 1776; I.H. MARSHALL, The Gospel of Luke (NIGTC; Grand Rapids 1978) 847-848: "the evidence suggests that his [Luke"s] account of the trial is based on a separate tradition which is more primitive than that in Mk"; G. SCHNEIDER, Verleugnung, Verspottung und Verhr Jesu nach Lukas 22,54-71 (Mnchen 1969) 105.

2 J. FITZMYER, The Gospel According to Luke X-XXIV (AB 28a; New York 1985) 1458.

3 FITZMYER, Gospel, 1492: "These questionsecho the double angelic announcement in the infancy narrativeWhat was foreshadowed in the infancy narrativereaches with crescendo its climax in this scene". This essay looks to explain this affirmation through use of a consciously repeated structure and to draw out some of the implication of Son of God at this climactic point.

4 BOCK, Luke, 1798: ""Son of God" in this context is ambiguous and, without the additional remarks of Jesus, could have been taken to mean "Messiah""; but the additional remarks of Jesus do not spell out for the Sanhedrin any figure other than the Messiah — it is impossible to claim that Jesus is defining, by his future exalted status, a relationship with God that, on the one hand, explains his unique relationship during his public life with his Father and, on the other hand, says anywhere near as much as does Luke 1,35.

5 While I am not in total agreement with all that M. Gourgues says about what the Sanhedrin understands in this Lucan dialogue, his opinion is very worthwhile, M. GOURGUES, A la droite de Dieu (Paris 1978) 147: ""Fils de Dieu" connote alors l"ide d"adoption, d"intimit et de protection particulire de la part de Dieu. Dans notre passage, le titre doit tre compris cette lumire. Il y a peut-tre un sens quivalent "Messie", y ajoutant cette ide que celui-ci est objet de faveur et de protection de la part de Dieu. Il faut noter cependant que, dans le judasme antrieur l"epoque chrtienne, aucun texte ne tmoigne d"une application nette du titre "Fils de Dieu" au "Messie". Aussi bien est-il prfrable d"y reconnatre le sens de "roi"".

6 The saying of Jesus is generally regarded as being due to redaction, because as MARSHALL, Gospel, 850, notes, from the point of view of historicity, "the question of the Son of man [especially as Jesus puts it in Luke] did not play any part in the Lucan tradition of this trial"; on the other hand, MARSHALL, Gospel, 849, notes that "it is highly probable that the question of Messiahship came up at the Jewish investigation".

7 Significant is Stephen"s exclamation that he saw "the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God" (Acts 7,56). This formulation reflects the identity of Jesus as one other than the Messiah; that the two figures are brought together there is need, in the minds of some (including Jesus), to link compositely the standing "at the right hand of God" with the sitting of Psalm 110 "at the right hand of God".

8 Son of Man and The Power signal a Palestinian context for Jesus" statement; also, The Power appears to be a reverential avoidance of the classical Hebrew title for God (cf. Psalm 54,3; Jer 16,21; Exod 9,16); Cf. G. DALMAN, The Words of Jesus (Edinburgh 1902) 200. This last point gives rise to the suggestion that "for the benefit of gentile readers Lk adds tou= qeou=", M. ZERWICK – M. GROSVENOR, An Analysis of the Greek New Testament I (Rome 1974) 275; cf. MARSHALL, Gospel, 850.

9 Cf. C. EVANS, "The Twelve Thrones of Israel", Luke and Scripture (eds. C. EVANS – J.A. SANDERS) (Minneapolis 1993) 156: "The "son of man" of Dan 7:13-14 was apparently understood in a messianic sense prior to Christianity"; 190, n. 75: "There is evidence that this psalm [110] was understood messianically prior to Christian usage (probably beginning with the Hasmonean rulers)". That these two pieces of data could be put together to eventually create the thought that the Psalm was to be understood to promise a Messiah who would be the Son of Man and who would be commanded to sit at God"s right hand — this seems both to be reasonable and to be an exegesis reached not only by others but also by Jesus. That Luke would not be the creator of this exchange of Son of Man and Messiah (contra, e.g., H. TDT, Der Menschensohn in der synoptischen berlieferung [Gtersloh 1959] 96), but the inheritor of a tradition rooted in Jesus" own understanding of the Tradition, makes it easier to see why, in the same chapter (24), Luke would speak once of the Son of Man and then twice of the Messiah — always in the same context of suffering and glorification.

10 Another possible answer draws on the use of o( e)klekto/j, at the cross, subsequent to this trial (23,35) and placed on the lips of the "leaders". The similar description, o( e)klelegme/noj, appears as with ui(o/j mou at Luke 9,35. Thus, there seems to be a certain affinity between Son of God (in the Messianic sense) and Messiah through "the Chosen One", and this affinity could account for the interchange of Messiah for son of God at Luke 22,66-71.

11 My literal translation of Psalm 109,3 from A. RAHLFS, Septuaginta II (Stuttgart 1935) 124: "With you is dominion in the day of your power in the splendor of the holy people; from the womb, before bearer of light, I have begotten you".

12 In line with what we know of Rabbinic rules of exegesis of the time (in our case: gezerah shevah), one would legitimately interpret Psalm 2,7 with the help of Psalm 110,3 by the shared phrasing: e)cege/nnhka/ se (Psalm 110,3) and gege/nnhka/ se (Psalm 2,7).

13 Luke"s is not the only writing which suggests a reading of Psalm 110 to clarify the significance of Jesus. The Letter to the Hebrews represents a tradition which has woven together the descriptions of the One seated at God"s right hand, the Son of God, and the High Priest — all appellatives to be found in the verses of Psalm 110.

14 E. LOHSE, "ui(o/j", TDNT VIII, 360: "[Israel] employed "son of God" only when quoting the Messianic promises and elsewhere avoided this term for Messiah".

15 FITZMYER, Gospel, 1467: "Jesus" declaration asserts the exaltation of himself as the Son of Man and of his investiture with power". While Jesus" session at the right hand of the Lord can be imagined as an "investiture with power", one must, given the Lucan framework, distinguish this moment from the moment of the investiture of that power experienced in the public life of Jesus since the time of his baptism. Indeed, essentially that power during his lifetime included forgiveness of sins, raising the dead to life, expulsion of demons; how is one to distinguish this power from that with which Jesus is invested at his session at God"s right hand?

16 Contrary, J. NEYREY, The Passion According to Luke (New York 1985) 71: "[Luke 22,66-71] serves Luke"s purpose to describe a solemn, valid and formal trial of Jesus by Israel"; yet he will admit that there is "no capital sentence" (75).

17 Apparently it is Luke who has adjusted the Marcan report about the continuous shout about Jesus" being "the blessed one who is to come": Luke prefers the shout to be: "Blessed is the one coming, the King, in the name of the Lord" (Luke 19,38 drawing upon Psalm 118,26; such texts as Zech 9,9 and Zeph 3,15-17 seem to have had their influence in this matter of the "King", too).

18 Cf. FITZMYER, Gospel, 1467: "The conj. oun does not merely repeat the former question, but draws a conclusion from Jesus" answer to the first question".

19 J. NOLLAND, Luke (WBC 35b; Dallas 1993) 1112: "Son of God" is an exalted status and relationship to God experienced by the messiah, but for the interrogators there is only a heightened repetition of their probe about messiahship in v. 67".

20 Cf. MARSHALL, Gospel, 851: "It is unlikely that divine Sonship is regarded simply as a metaphorical attribute of the Messiah"; FITZMYER, Gospel, 1463, is still clearer: "The title huios tou Theou is not to be understood as a mere equivalent of christos; more is implied"; cf. also H. TDT, Menschensohn, 96-97: "Dabei erhalten die verwendeten Wrdenamen der Christus, Menschensohn, Sohn Gottes so verschiedene Bedeutungsnuancen, dass von einer sachlichen Identitt nicht zu sprechen ist".

21 SCHNEIDER, Verleugnung, 184-185, prefers to interpret Son of God in terms of Jesus" obedience to his Father, "Jesu Verbundenheit mit dem Vater, "Christus Gottes", der [Titel] den Gesalbten auf seinen heilsgeschichtlichen Weg leitet und begleitet". Certainly, a facet of Sonship is obedience to the Father, as the answers of Jesus to temptation show; but, for Luke in the final analysis, it is the holiness of Jesus that accounts for his obedience, the holiness (like Jesus" Sonship) which is spoken of in the angel"s revelation to Mary at Luke 1,35. "In Stage I [which represents the time of Jesus] of the gospel tradition the question [v.67] would have been asked in the political sense. But in Stage III [the time of Luke"s writing] Luke obviously intends the question to carry a deeper christological nuance as well", FITZMYER, Gospel, 1466-1467.

22 One might make the same observation when confronted with an earlier combination of these same titles at Luke 4,41, a text wherein one recognizes once again a Lucan redaction of Marcan material: it is Luke who again brings these two titles into a proximity which can only make one aware again that he has carefully distinguished them in the Annunciation scene. A glance at Luke"s Acts of the Apostles reveals the same phenomenon: Paul proclaimed that Jesus was Son of God (9,20) and "proved" that Jesus was the Messiah; the differentiation of verbs here is crucial to begin to point up that for Luke Messiah and Son of God are quite different in meaning. (Cf. the apposite remarks of J. FITZMYER, The Acts of the Apostles [New York 1998] 435).

23 Cf. J.J. KILGALLEN, "The Conception of Jesus (Luke 1,35)", Bib 78 (1997) 225-246.

24 MARSHALL, Gospel, 851, would rather find another key to explaining the Sonship of Jesus: "For Luke, sitting on the right hand of God is tantamount to divine Sonship"; cf. TDT, Menschensohn, 96: "Diese unmittelbare Folgerung [Messiah, Son of Man at the right hand of God] setzt voraus, da die sessio ad dexteram dei ein Charakteristikum der Gottessohnstellung ist". I would prefer to think that, for Luke, the session of Jesus at God"s right hand is an indicator of Sonship, but that the explanation can only be found in the Annunciation scene. The resurrection-ascension of Jesus, according to Peter"s Pentecost speech, produced justification for the titles Messiah and Lord; there was no mention there of Son of God. Later, in Paul"s speech at Antioch, Psalm 2,7 is used, by which a connection is drawn between being "my son" and "begetting today". This "begetting today" refers to the resurrection, but, given the sequence of statements in the Psalm, sonship seems to be the reason for the "begetting" or resurrection, rather than vice-versa.

25 Cf. LOHSE, "ui(o/j", TDNT VIII, 360: "sonship was not construed as physical descent in these OT sayings, but rather as expressing the ruler"s validation by God"; but E. SCHWEIZER, "ui(o/j", TDNT VIII, 382 does apparently not see any distinction between this OT view and Luke"s view: "Since Luke was not interested in the biological question". Certain elements of biology are not in the Annunciation story, but that the birth caused by God is biological is the Lucan claim.

26 D. CATCHPOLE, The Trial of Jesus (Leiden 1971) 197: "[H. TDT, The Son of Man in the Synoptic Traditions (London 1965) 101-103] argues that Luke has a different conception of the christological titles mentioned in Mk 14.61f. But this is not so, for Luke"s own view emerges from the redactional activity at Lk 4.41, as well as from Acts 9.20-22, and it is exactly that of Mk 14.61f. In Luke 4.41, Luke is redacting Mk 1.34This shows irrefutably the equivalence of the titles in Luke"s own mind". That Luke rewrites Mark 1,34 with the combination of titles, Son of God and Messiah, does not mean that Luke thinks the titles are equivalent. Rather, one can say, as I am arguing analogously in this essay about the use of the titles in Luke 22, that the demons, like the Sanhedrin, used the titles interchangeably. The demons here see that the powers of Jesus, the powers of the Messiah, are also the powers of the Son of God; but that demonic perception, based on such mighty powers, in no way means to exclude or even include what Luke and his reader know about Jesus from Luke 1,35. (That the demons speak of "the" [ho] Son of God is curious and interesting.) One might also note the view of NOLAN, Luke, 1109, given many years after that of Catchpole, "Luke is not known for creating parallelisms, so the parallelism here [Luke 22,66-71] is likely to be from a source". This would mean, pace Catchpole, that Luke is not strictly speaking "redacting" Mark, but turning to another source (cf. NOLAN, Luke, 1109). This in turn means that Luke, at 4,41, implies that he wants a source with a double reference to Jesus and not Mark"s phrasing. And why does he want to change Mark? Simply to convey twice, through different titles, the identical meaning for Jesus?

27 One might take exception to this statement by citing the story of Jesus" being found in the Temple, specifically by citing Jesus" question, "Must I not be in the work of my Father (in my Father"s house)?" (2,49). Certainly, this question does not repeat verbatim what is in Luke 1,35, but its assertion of Sonship is based totally and only on that text; moreover, the activity of Jesus in the Temple is the point of proleptic affirmation of at least a major part of what it will mean to be Son of God (1,35) in Jesus" public life: teacher to Israel from God.

28 Cf. J.-N. ALETTI, Il Racconto come Teologia (Roma 1996) 20: "In tutti questi racconti [included in this group is Luke 1,26-38, p.17] gli interventi divini fanno parte del tessuto narrativo e la loro importanza non dev"essere minimizzata, perch hanno una funzione programmatica". J.-N. Aletti is usually here referring to divine interventions which result in action, but it is clear from the Annunciation scene that the ruler of the house of Jacob is not only announced, but identified and defined: the Messiah from the house of David, known to be the adopted son of God, is in reality, to be known by the reader as mysteriously the result of the Power and Spirit of God within the womb of a woman.