In the current thread I’m trying to establish that Jesus believed he was the messiah. I have pointed out that his followers would not have considered him the messiah because they believed he had been raised from the dead (since the messiah was not supposed to die and rise again) unless they had already considered him the messiah prior to his death. But that, of course, does not mean that Jesus *himself* thought he was the messiah. And so we have to look for evidence from Jesus’ life that indicates that this is what he thought about himself, and my argument is going to be that there are several pieces of evidence that strongly suggest it is, of which my plan is to stress two.
As background, in my previous post, I laid out the world view that Jesus himself almost certainly subscribed to, a view that scholars have called Jewish apocalypticism. I need to develop these thoughts a bit in this post; and the next; after that I’ll lay out in (very) summary fashion what I think we can say with relative certainty about the basic features of Jesus’ teaching; and I will then, once all that is completed, point to specific reasons for thinking that Jesus’ considered himself the messiah.
It is obviously one thing to say that apocalypticism was a common world view in Jesus’ day and another to say that Jesus himself subscribed to it. But that has nonetheless been the view among most critical scholars, as I indicated yesterday, since the great work of Albert Schweitzer. Schweitzer is best known today for his humanitarian efforts as a medical missionary in Africa. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1952.
But before all that,
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