Myth of popular messianic expectations at the time of Jesus

I am copying here a post I just submitted on another forum, so with apologies to readers who have already seen this . . . . This topic is not about “Jewish prophecies of the messiah’s arrival”. It is not about the second century Bar Kochba rebellion. Nor is it even about popular beliefs and attitudes at the time of the 66-73 … Continue reading “Myth of popular messianic expectations at the time of Jesus”


Questioning Carrier and the Conventional Wisdom on Messianic Expectations

Here for convenience is an annotated list of the recent posts on “the myth of messianic expectations”. 1. Questioning Carrier and the Common View of a “Rash of Messianism” at the time of Jesus Carrier’s claim “Palestine in the early first century ce was experiencing a rash of messianism” is introduced. His assertion that “The … Continue reading “Questioning Carrier and the Conventional Wisdom on Messianic Expectations”


How Do You Spot a Messiah? — Myth of Jewish Messianic Expectations continued

I continue to examine the arguments mounted in favour of the view that Jewish messianic expectations at the time of the founding of what became Christianity as set out by Richard Carrier. Even ‘John the Baptist’ (at least as depicted in the Gospels) was a mes­sianic figure (e.g. Jn 1.20; Lk. 3.15), or otherwise telling … Continue reading “How Do You Spot a Messiah? — Myth of Jewish Messianic Expectations continued”


The Myth of a General Messianic Expectation in Jesus’ Time

It is standard practice to classify Jewish messianism as national, ethnic, political and material, and to mark Christian messianism as universal, cosmopolitan, ethical and spiritual. That Jewish anticipation of the messiah’s arrival was unusually keen in first century Palestine and constituted the mise en scène for the emergence of Christianity is a virtual axiom of … Continue reading “The Myth of a General Messianic Expectation in Jesus’ Time”


Horbury Argued Similarly: Jewish Messianic Ideas Explain Christianity

For most scholars, Boyarin’s thinking is a complete paradigm shift and in many ways something that “just isn’t done.”74 74   Horbury, Jewish Messianism, argued similarly to Boyarín yet not as forcefully. Those quotes are from Benjamin Reynolds, page 29 of his essay “The Gospel of John’s Christology as Evidence for Early Jewish Messianic Expectations: Challenges … Continue reading “Horbury Argued Similarly: Jewish Messianic Ideas Explain Christianity”


Questioning Carrier: Was the Book of Daniel Really a “Key Messianic Text”?

I expect this post will conclude my series challenging Richard Carrier’s arguments in On the Historicity of Jesus attempting to justify the common belief that early first century Judea was patchwork quilt of messianic movements. This belief has been challenged by specialist scholars* (see comment) especially since the 1990s but their work has still to … Continue reading “Questioning Carrier: Was the Book of Daniel Really a “Key Messianic Text”?”


Questioning Claims about Messianic Anticipations among Judeans of the Early First Century

Let’s take another set of references Richard Carrier cites to support the claim That Jewish expectations of some kind of messiah in the early Roman Empire were widespread, influential, and very diverse . . . has been well established by experts on ancient messianism.15 Carrier 2014, p. 67 I am referencing Carrier because he sets … Continue reading “Questioning Claims about Messianic Anticipations among Judeans of the Early First Century”


Jewish Expectations of a Slain Messiah — the Early Evidence

This post is a companion to Messiah to be Killed in Pre-Christian Jewish Expectation — the Late Evidence. It’s a topic I have never explored in any depth before but Richard Carrier points to the evidence for anyone interested to follow up for themselves. I learn things when I set them out for others to read … Continue reading “Jewish Expectations of a Slain Messiah — the Early Evidence”


Popular Messianic(?) Movements Up To The Time Of Jesus and Beyond – Part 3

This continues from Part 2 where I continued discussing what Richard Horsley has to say about popular messianic movements in Israel up to the time of Jesus in Bandits, Prophets & Messiahs. In the last post I covered “social banditry” in Palestine (especially Galilee) and those who were looked upon as rightful kings in the … Continue reading “Popular Messianic(?) Movements Up To The Time Of Jesus and Beyond – Part 3”


Popular Messianic Movements Up To The Time Of Jesus – Part 1

This post surveys the evidence and questions the conclusions of Richard A. Horsley (with John S. Hanson) in Bandits, Prophets & Messiahs: Popular Movements in the Time of Jesus (1999) concerning messianic hopes and movements among the common people of Palestine up to the time of Jesus. It is some years since I first read … Continue reading “Popular Messianic Movements Up To The Time Of Jesus – Part 1”


The Crucifixion as a Victorious Elevation (Charbonnel continued)

Continuing here Nanine Charbonnel’s Jésus-Christ, Sublime Figure de Papier. This post covers pages 398 to 411. I have questions and some doubts about certain connections that are being made in these pages and note NC’s occasional expressions of tentativeness. But I’ll try to present here the key points expressed and from time to time add … Continue reading “The Crucifixion as a Victorious Elevation (Charbonnel continued)”


The Incarnation of The Name – Continuing Nanine Charbonnel’s Sublime Paper Figure Jesus Christ

All posts in this survey of Nanine Charbonnel’s book are archived at  Charbonnel: Jesus Christ sublime figure de papier. Getting Real The striking difference between pre-Christian Jewish concepts and those of Christianity is that the latter eschewed abstract notions of messiahs and divine messengers and fleshed them out with names and personalities. Where we read … Continue reading “The Incarnation of The Name – Continuing Nanine Charbonnel’s Sublime Paper Figure Jesus Christ”