I’m in the midst of the most entangled thread I have yet produced in my well-over-three-years of doing the blog. It started with orthodox scribes who were altering their texts of Scripture (specifically Luke 22; this was part of a thread I began in April! I’ll get back to it….) and it has now managed by a number of intricate twists, turns, and interweavings to end up at the resurrection of Jesus.
I have been arguing that the resurrection radically changed the disciple’ understanding of the belief that he was the messiah – a belief that he himself had, and that they shared. I have argued that given everything we know about Jewish beliefs at the time, almost certainly anyone hearing that a man (such as Jesus) was the messiah would have thought that this meant that he was (or would become) the king of the Jewish people. That’s certainly how the Roman governor Pontius Pilate took it. It was because Jesus made such a claim that Pilate ordered him crucified.
The crucifixion proved beyond any doubt that Jesus was not the messiah. But then something equally dramatic happened. The disciples came to believe that he was raised from the dead. That showed them that God had showered his special favor on Jesus. That meant he was not cursed by God (as one hanging on a tree) but was the one specially blessed by God. And that is absolutely the key to the disciples’ subsequent train of thought.
They had previously thought,
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