Jesus’ Claim to Be the Messiah

 

I’m afraid I have been sidetracked from my thread within a thread within a thread, but now want to get back to it.  This particular sub-sub-thread is about whether Jesus considered himself to be the Jewish messiah.  My view is that Yes he did.  But he meant something very specific by that, and it is not what most people (Christians and non-Christians) today mean by it.

Recall what I have tried to show thus far.  There were various expectations of what ...

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Gift Memberships to the Blog, 2015

We have already moved passed Thanksgiving again.  Hard to believe.

For the occasion, I want to open up a holiday giving option that can help out people who really want to be on the blog but cannot afford the membership fees.

As many of you know, for the past couple of years, thanks to a number of generous donors, we pulled this off in a big way.  It has happened in two stages.   It started off when two anonymous donors proposed that ...

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Readers’ Mailbag November 27, 2015

 

I hope everyone had a fulfilling (and fillingful) Thanksgiving!

Now it is time to answer some questions I have received over the past couple of weeks, in short rapid-fire order.   If you have a question you would like me to address, please ask it in a comment to this post.  I am keeping a list and deal with the questions, weekly, more or less in the order in which I receive them.   And I’m running low on questions!  So ask away!

 

 

QUESTION:  ...

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Thanksgiving Reflections 2015

I would like to pause in my other blogging pursuits to reflect a bit on the holiday that is now upon us.   Like, I suppose, a lot of people, there are a number of holidays that I one time enjoyed very much but am now almost completely indifferent to.  For me those would include Halloween (it’s just not that much fun for me without having kids or any real connection with kids), Fourth of July (I’m always in England on ...

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The SBL and the Blog

I just finished spending five days at my annual professional meeting, the Society of Biblical Literature, this year in Atlanta.   This is a very large conference, probably about 6,000 people here for it – not to mention another 6,000 here for the American Academy of Religion conference that is held jointly with it.

For both conferences this is a chance for professional academics in their various fields of religious studies (New Testament, Hebrew Bible, early Christianity, early Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Religion ...

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The Teaching of Jesus

I have been providing necessary background to the question of whether Jesus could have considered himself the messiah, and have done so by trying to situate him in the world of first century Jewish apocalyptic thinking.  We now need to move to a summary of Jesus’ teaching given that apocalyptic framework.

We could obviously have a year-long thread on the topic of what it was Jesus taught during his itinerant preaching ministry.  Many people have written very long books on the ...

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Fifty Ways to Forge a Gospel

 

 

Last month I attended a small conference on the early Christian apocrypha (that is, the Gospels, epistles, Acts, and Apocalypses from early Christianity that were not accepted into the canon of Scripture) at York University in Toronto.   The special topic for the conference was the use of forgery in early Christianity, and I was asked to give the keynote address.

This is a topic, of course, I have been long interested in.   I spent several years working on my (rather long) ...

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Readers’ Mailbag November 20, 2015

It is time for my weekly Readers’ Mailbag.  I will be dealing with two questions this time.  If you have questions, about anything at all related to the historical Jesus, the New Testament, the history of early Christianity, or anything else that I may have a remote chance of knowing something about, please ask!  You can either respond with a comment/question to this post, or send me an email, or comment on any other post!

 

QUESTION:   An off-topic request: what are ...

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The Beginning and End as Keys to the Middle

In my last post I showed why it is so widely acknowledged that Jesus began his ministry by associating with John the Baptist, an apocalyptic preacher of coming doom.   The reason that matters for our purposes in this thread is that it shows that Jesus chose, of his own free will, to join an apocalyptic movement at the very beginning of his public ministry.  That certainly demonstrates that Jesus started out his public life as a fervent advocate of a ...

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The Baptism of Jesus as an Apocalyptic Event

Over the years scholars have adduced lots of reasons for thinking that Jesus – like many others in his day – was a Jewish apocalypticist, one who thought that the world was controlled by forces of evil but that God was very soon going to intervene to overthrow everything and everyone opposed to him in order to set up a good kingdom here on earth.  As I pointed out in my previous post, this is the view found in Jesus’ ...

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