How did the Jews from 250 BC to AD 200 conceive and express their beliefs in the coming of God’s Messiah? Why did the Jews closely associated with Jesus of Nazareth claim within 10 years of his crucifixion in AD 30 that he indeed was the promised Messiah? An international team of prominent Jewish and Christian scholars discuss these and related questions in this volume that stems from the First Princeton Symposium on Judaism and Christian Origins. The book focuses on the historical and theological importance of the presence or absence of the term “Messiah” and messianic ideas in the Hebrew Scriptures, the New Testament, Philo, the Apocrypha, the Pseudepigrapha, Josephus, and the Dead Sea Scrolls. It clarifies the key issues to be discussed, illustrates the appropriate methodology shared by international experts, and concentrates on the perplexing questions regarding messianic beliefs in Judaism and Christianity before the close of the New Testament and the editing of the Mishnah.
“They longed for the coming of the Taheb, apparently their term for ‘the Messiah’; but it means ‘restorer’ and was perceived not as a new David but as a new Moses (a Moses redivivus).” (Page 14)
“I, therefore, use the term ‘Messiah’ in its etymological sense, to denote God’s eschatological Anointed One, the Messiah” (Page 4)
“A discussion of the Old Testament’s contribution to the development of the later messianic expectations can hardly be focused on the Hebrew word for messiah, מָשִׁיחַ. In the original context not one of the thirty-nine occurrences of מָשִׁיחַ in the Hebrew canon refers to an expected figure of the future whose coming will coincide with the inauguration of an era of salvation.” (Page 39)
“At Qumran the belief in the Davidic Messiah was joined with, and made subordinate to, the belief in an Aaronic Messiah. The excesses and failures of the Hasmonean ruler (later called ‘king’) in Jerusalem led the Qumranites to yearn for the coming of a priestly messiah.” (Pages 24–25)
“The noun ‘Messiah’ or ‘Christ’ does not appear in the thirteen books in the Old Testament Apocrypha.37” (Page 16)