In a previous post I argued that Christians invented the idea of a suffering messiah. Because Jesus was (for them) the messiah, and because he suffered, therefore the messiah *had* to suffer. That was clear and straightforward for the Christians. They backed up their newly devised theology by appealing to Scripture, finding passages of the Bible where a righteous person suffered but was then vindicated by God, passages such as Isaiah 53, Psalm 22, Psalm 69 and so on. They reinterpreted these passages (where the messiah is never mentioned) in a messianic way, and they were massively successful in their reinterpretations. Many Christians today cannot read these passages without thinking (knowing!) that they refer to Jesus, the suffering messiah.
But why would the messiah have to suffer? Yes, for Christians, it was because it was “predicted.” But why would God predict it? That is, why would he want his messiah to suffer? This is where Christians came up with yet another innovation, the idea that the death of the messiah brought about the salvation of the world.
It should be fairly obviously from what I have said before that since there were no Jews who thought that the messiah had to die, there were also no Jews who thought that the messiah had to die for the sins of the world. So why did Christians think so?
Here it is important to realize that …
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