Did Jews in Jesus’ day expect the Messiah? Yes, many of them did, but the term “Messiah” is not as important in the literature as the term “King”, and the question which we really should be answering in the affirmative is: Did some Jews in Jesus’ day expect a new Davidic King? Old Testament texts commonly reinterpreted as pointing to a future Messiah are actually speaking about the restoration of the Davidic monarchy. Other Jewish texts, both those that predate the New Testament and those contemporary with the New Testament, are also speaking about the restoration of the Davidic monarchy. They are prophesying the arrival of a new King in David’s line. Where the term “Messiah” occurs, it is used as an eschatological synonym for “King”. The term “Messiah” only took on decisive importance in emergent Christianity, where it was used to express the notion that the story of salvation was not yet complete. God’s Anointed was born of David’s line, had died for people’s sins, was raised from the dead and exalted to heaven. In the future, at the end, Jesus would return as King.
Thursday, June 07, 2007
Logos Lecture: Messiah and King
Over on the Logos Bible Software Blog, there is a nice note headed Mark Goodacre is Coming to Town concerning my Logos Lecture next Monday in Bellingham, WA. The title is "Did Jews in Jesus' day expect the Messiah?" Since I am busy preparing the lecture at the moment (with the Test Match on in the background, of course, with England faltering a little on 166 for 5, having been on a commanding 112 for 1 at lunch), here is a taster of the argument of the paper: