Re: [XTalk] Messiah in 1st Century
- rit2506 wrote:
> A number of so-called "messianic claimants" are frequently sited. ButCalled by whom?
> I have so far not found any specific reference to these claimants as
> actually described as "messiah." Does anyone know of any other figure
> in the first-century who was called messiah except for Jesus?
> For example, were any of the following actually called "messiah" or
> "christos": Athronges the shepherd, Judas the Galilean, Samaritan
> prophet, Theudas, Egyptian prophet, Anonymous prophet, Menahem, son of
> Judas, Simon bar Giora, Jonathan the weaver, Lukuas?
One of the problems in knowing if what you are asking about was actually
done of any of these figures -- all of whom certainly acted
"messianically" and/or seem to have claimed messianic/kingly status --
is that we have nothing from themselves or their followers -- or from
those who saw to their demise -- in which such an appellation might have
We do, however, have an explicit recognition in Mk. 13 that Mark
believed that there **were** those who did see this title as appropriate
for themselves and even took it up.
And we have Akiva application of "Messiah" to Bar Kosibah, do we not?
And what about the Josephan and Rabbinic testimony to deceivers? What
was it that deceived the people about or over? And what lies behind the
title of "the prophet"?
Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon)
1500 W. Pratt Blvd.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- rit2506 asked:
> > were any of the following actuallyJosephus wouldn't acknowledge it, so the absence of
> > called "messiah" or "christos":
> > Athronges the shepherd, Judas the
> > Galilean, Samaritan
> > prophet, Theudas, Egyptian prophet, Anonymous
> > prophet, Menahem, son of
> > Judas, Simon bar Giora, Jonathan the weaver,
> > Lukuas?
the title in his descriptions doesn't mean much --
especially when certain parallels creep in anyway. In
War 2:57-58/Antiq 17:273-274, Simon of Perea is
described a bit like Saul (I Sam 9:2). And Anthronges
of Judea certainly looks like David the shepherd-king
come again (War 2:60-62/Antiq 17:278).
Two (very different) books worth reading on the
subject of first-century messiahship are Horsley and
Hanson's _Bandits, Prophets, and Messiahs_; and John
Collins' _The Scepter and the Star: The Messiahs of
the Dead Sea Scrolls and Other Ancient Literature_.
The latter demonstrates a diversity of messianic
expectations (involving not just kings, but also
priests, prophets, and heavenly arch-angels), and it
wouldn't surprise me to learn that figures like the
Egyptian Prophet and Theudas were regarded as messiahs
by their followers.
Loren Rosson III
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----- Original Message -----
Sent: Saturday, August 05, 2006 5:59 PM
Subject: [XTalk] Messiah in 1st Century
> <<Thanks Mike for pointing me in a couple of directions. I am still not
> content with this. Does anyone know of any figure called "messiah"
> besides Jesus actually in the first century world?
> Any suggestions on where to turn to find out such answer?
> David Ritsema>>
> Josephus uses the term of Vespasian, but he's not exactly reliable as an
> indicator of Jewish belief in the matter! Most likely some of the rebel
> he wrote claimed Messiahship, or had it claimed for them by others, but
> their case he avoids using it, probably deliberately. Bar Cochba was, of
> course, declared to be the Messiah by Akiva, but that may be too late for
> Robert Brenchley
In the 1st century there would be Theudas (44-46 CE), Judas of Gamala (6
CE), the Egyptian (52-58), Simon of Girasa, Simon of Perea, the Samaritan,
Athronges, John of Gischala (67-70 CE), Menahem.