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April 25, 2006

Comments

Doug Tygar

You mistate the Jewish criteria for a potential Messiah (Moshiach). The followers of a teacher (particularly in a Hassidic sect) may regard their teacher as a potential Messiah, or they may not, individually. The Lubavitchers have ample numbers of both types, something which is causing stress within the group today. However, none of the modern Hassidic Rebbe's has revealed himself as a Messiah, a necessary step for his actually assuming kingship. Moreover, a Jewish Messiah is different from a Christian Messiah, the Jewish Messiah does not become G-d (G-d is one) but rather is connected to G-d, and by being connected to a Messiah or a tzadik (a person of high spiritual evolution) opportunities exist for a closer connection with G-d.

False messiahs have caused great pain in Jewish history from Bar Kochba forwards (and from a Jewish point of view, Jesus is another false messiah) but perhaps none more than the tragic era of Sabbatai Sevi, who was a kabbahlistic master and ultimately converted to Islam. As a result of him, Jewish culture was divided for centuries on the issue of allow mysticism into normative Jewish studies. Many of the schisms within observant Judaism today that we see trace their pain back to Sabbatai Sevi.

D. C.

Doug writes:

Moreover, a Jewish Messiah is different from a Christian Messiah, the Jewish Messiah does not become G-d (G-d is one) but rather is connected to G-d ....

Doug, my point is precisely that we have good reason to question whether the Apostles — the men who actually worked with Jesus during his lifetime and purportedly knew him the best — regarded him as God, or whether instead Jesus's deity was invented later by (unknown) church fathers who never knew the man.

That's useful information about Sabbatai Sevi, about whom I remember reading something before but couldn't remember the name.

Thanks for stopping by.

ruidh

I don;t think the Wikipedia article could be taken as an accurate representation of what a 1st C. jew wold expect of a Messiah. A lot of the stuff I read there seemed to (a) postdate the 1st C. and (2) be largely a reaction to Christian claims for Jesus.

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