Did the Jews before Christ expect a national Messiah?

The answer is, I think, no. In this post I quote a few sections from Professor Richard Horsley‘s work Bandits, Prophets & Messiahs: Popular Movements in the Time of Jesus. (Since there is currently a discussion under way at the Freeratio Discussion Board that relates to this question, and since this is a topic I … Continue reading “Did the Jews before Christ expect a national Messiah?”


Why Jesus chose the Twelve: Dale Allison’s exegesis

Dale C. Allison in his recent book, Constructing Jesus, believes that we can learn, or at least “confirm”, what Jesus taught about the “end of the age” by looking at the careers of the Twelve Disciples/Apostles. He begins by discussing various opinions about whether or not Jesus really did call twelve disciples at all, and … Continue reading “Why Jesus chose the Twelve: Dale Allison’s exegesis”


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”


Philo’s Spiritual Messiah: allegorical and personal?

Philo does not mention the term “christos” (“messiah”). But he does use a lot of messianic terminology to describe how the Logos converts people, through an inner personal war against the flesh, into the divine image. The message reminds me of Troels Engberg-Pedersen’s more detailed discussion of Paul’s concept of the Stoic-Logos-like function of the … Continue reading “Philo’s Spiritual Messiah: allegorical and personal?”


Old Testament Messiahs as the Raw Material for the New Testament Christ

The idea of a holy anointed one, a messiah that is, who liberated those captive to sin through his death, who represented the pious before God, who was subject even to the wrath of God for the sin of the people, such an idea was arguably a pre-packaged concept among some Jews long before Jesus … Continue reading “Old Testament Messiahs as the Raw Material for the New Testament Christ”


Responding to standard arguments for Jesus’ historicity (1)

edited and added TLT quote Jan 26, 2010 @ 20:05 I think of myself as neither a “Jesus mythicist” nor a “Jesus historicist”, but as someone interested in exploring the origins of Christianity. Whether the evidence establishes a historical Jesus at its core, or an entity less tangible, then so be it. Nonetheless, I cannot … Continue reading “Responding to standard arguments for Jesus’ historicity (1)”


Jesus displaces Isaac: midrashic creation of the biblical Jesus . . . (Offering of Isaac . . . #6)

Continuing the series the evolution of the offering of Isaac into a Jesus story; earlier posts here. Levenson argues that much of the early christology derives from a midrashic combination of verses associated with Isaac, the beloved son of Abraham, the suffering servant in Isaiah who went, like Isaac, willingly to his slaughter, another miraculous … Continue reading “Jesus displaces Isaac: midrashic creation of the biblical Jesus . . . (Offering of Isaac . . . #6)”