Sorting by

×

The Apocalyptic Background to Jesus’ Messiahship

To make sense of my claim that Jesus himself told the disciples that he thought he was the messiah, I have to set his teachings generally in a wider context.  As I have repeatedly argued on the blog, Jesus’ teachings are best understood as apocalyptic in nature, and to understand any of them it is important to remember what the world view we call Jewish apocalypticism entailed.  This is essential background to the question I’m pursuing, since I will be maintaining that Jesus did indeed consider himself the messiah, and said so to his disciples, but he meant this in a completely apocalyptic sense. So, to set the stage for my consideration of the messianic self-teaching of Jesus, I need to provide a quick refresher course on Jewish apocalypticism.  Here is what I said in an earlier post on the matter. ****************************************************************** Jewish apocalypticism was a very common view in Jesus’ day – it was the view of the Essenes who wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls, of the Pharisees, of John the Baptist, later of [...]

By |2020-04-03T02:52:14-04:00November 20th, 2016|Early Judaism, Historical Jesus, Public Forum|82 Comments

The Apocalyptic Context for Jesus’ View of the Messiah

In this thread I am trying to argue that Jesus understood himself to be the messiah.  So far I have made one of my two main arguments, with the understanding that *both* arguments have to be considered in order to have a compelling case.  So the first prong doesn’t prove much on its own.  But in combination with the second argument, it makes a strong case.  The first argument is that Jesus’ followers would not have understood him as the messiah after his death (as they did) unless they believed him to be the messiah before his death – even if they came to believe he had been raised from the dead, that would not have made them think he was the messiah.   I’ve explained why in my previous post. The second second involves showing that it was not only the disciples who understood Jesus to be the messiah before his death, but that Jesus himself did.  This is even harder to show, but I think there is really compelling evidence.  There are two major [...]

By |2017-11-16T22:10:37-05:00November 15th, 2015|Early Judaism, Historical Jesus, Public Forum|41 Comments

A Final (for now) Post on the Resurrection

     A final posting, for now, on the question I was asked on the resurrection. Most people – even those who believe in Jesus’ resurrection – never stop to think about what the idea of resurrection would have meant to first century Jews.  Jesus’ followers, of course, were just that, Jews from Palestine in the first century.   Today people (Christians) are so accustomed to thinking of Jesus’ resurrection that there is nothing odd about it – it fits directly into our (their) way of thinking about the world.  But in fact the very notion of resurrection is a thoroughly Jewish notion with deep roots in the Jewish apocalyptic (as opposed, say, to the American capitalistic) world view. Throughout most of their earlier history, Jews did not hold to the idea of a resurrected afterlife.  In the Hebrew Bible (the Christian Old Testament), most authors (e.g., of Job and Ecclesiastes) think that death is the end of the story, so that there is no afterlife, or that if there is an afterlife it is a shadowy [...]

Go to Top