The comings and goings of the Son of Man

I recently had an article published in the journal Biblical Interpretation, on an idea I’ve been working and re-working for a long time, which attempts to make sense of the very difficult Son of Man material in Matthew’s Gospel concerning the theme of ‘second coming’. This paper was a long time in the coming, and so I was particularly pleased when it finally made it into print. It seemed to me that Matthew doesn’t so much portray a second coming of Jesus in the indefinite future, so much as a motif of perpetual presence in the present. Not only did this make sense of some of Matthew’s more difficult apparent contradictions, it also exploited something the great G. B. Caird once wrote (all too briefly) about how the coming of Jesus is also a going. I called this paper ‘The comings and goings of the Son of Man’, a title I was rather proud of.

The full reference is this – ‘The Comings and Goings of the Son of Man: Is Matthew’s risen Jesus “present” or “absent”? A Narrative-Critical Response’ Biblical Interpretation 22:51-70 (2014), and I’ve included the first few paragraphs here. You can also see the full article on my Academia page (

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