Mark 2:28

so the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.”


Sabbath designation takes place
in real time and space

flies on a body measure death
in real life and breath

Lords of each regularly come and go
riding high and ending low

Sabbaths and flies can be honored
on their own terms not on order


The traditional translation here is “Son of Man” rather than “Human One”. It is that “One” added to “Human” that makes it difficult to deal with this many years after the writing.

We can stick with the Human language with humans having mastery or decision-making power regarding sabbath and its implementation.

We can move toward Son of Man and Human One as variants on apocalyptic imagery of Daniel and Revelation with a much larger-than-life reference.

We can also see this term as a third-person reference to Jesus that separates him from regular humans as the Human human.

People with differing theological perspectives and ecclesial traditions will find this more divisive than unifying. An argument can quickly break out about High and Low Christology.

Here we acknowledge that the community following Jesus took liberties with their engagement of Hebraic language and traditions and interpreted Jesus messianically and apocalyptically.

Our preference is to use the translation from The Five Gospels:

The sabbath day was created for Adam and Eve,

not Adam and Eve for the sabbath day.

So, the son of Adam lords it even over the sabbath day.

While this better connects with the creation story it probably is a radical jump that Mark would balk at. Our excuse for Mark’s usage is that this is just a too-memorable couplet for an author to lose. Let’s chalk it up to a remembrance by Peter, once again speaking hyperbolically before considering the nuance.

Because you are reading slowly, aloud, this is an opportunity for Mark’s reader to respond by coming to a tentative resolution of their relationship with all that goes into an Israelite Sabbath and their willingness to hold tradition or an agreed upon discipline loosely.

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