Westcott and Hort / [NA27 variants] Mark 15:39 Ἰδὼν δὲ ὁ κεντυρίων ὁ παρεστηκὼς ἐξ ἐναντίας αὐτοῦ ὅτι οὕτως ἐξέπνευσεν εἶπεν Ἀληθῶς οὗτος ὁ ἄνθρωπος υἱὸς θεοῦ ἦν.
This is normally rendered with ὁ acting as the definite article for υἱὸς θεοῦ:
New International Version Mark 15:39 And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, saw how he died, he said, "Surely this man was the Son of God!"
I know word order is less important in Koine but doesn't it seem that the article is misplaced? Isn't it qualifying, oddly, ἄνθρωπος? Should't it read more like:
And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, saw how he died, he said, "Surely this, the man, was a son of God"?
Or something to that effect?
What brought me to question this is that I see in this account an allusion to Jesus' teaching:
Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called (κληθήσονται) children (υἱοὶ, or "sons") of God.
It makes little sense to me that the Roman soldier would have a messianic expectation and rather saw some kind of native divinity in Jesus (in the Roman sense) and so called him a son of a god", thus fulfilling Matthew 5:9.
I'm reminded of the reverence of the soldiers of "Hacksaw Ridge" who likewise saw the peacemaker and admired him with little concern about seeing him as a messiah, only as one the divine had infiltrated his character.