The need for a 'messiah' arose from issues that began with the Garden of Eden. Defined biblically, these issues may be considered as the eternal conflict between the Truth and the Lie - "because they exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator." (Rom. 1:25)
The New Testament postulates that Jesus of Nazareth is "the christ," (Messiah) i.e. "the anointed one." This claim did not receive majority support at the time. Contention and disagreement arose from basically opposed views as to the nature of the genuine messianic role. Texts from the Old Testament were adduced by both sides as evidence to deny or affirm.
The New Testament interpretation of this "genuine messianic role" is to be found in those texts which it reproduces from the Old Testament for the purpose of prophetically legitimising the role of "the unexpected messiah," thereby affirming that Jesus is the Messiah.
This Old Testament/New Testament interplay leads to a more thorough understanding of the role and person of the man Jesus of Nazareth, through the manner in which he was seen by his supporters as fulfilling Old Testament prophecy.
The two main propositions of the New Testament are:
- that the crucifixion-resurrection fulfilled specific expectations, the meaning of which had been realised only by Jesus, and,
- that Jesus represented the spiritual fulfilment of the Israelite hope.
It further proposes that there is to be a SECOND appearance of the 'anointed,' at which the Kingdom will be established materially on earth. It does not propose that all the Old Testament prophecies of the 'anointed' were fulfilled by the manner of his first appearance.
The New Testament was written to prove that Jesus of Nazareth was the man appointed by God to rule the world in righeousness.
It was not written to prove that he was born of a virgin...not written to prove that he was part of any tortuous trinitarian formula devised by theologians...not written to prove that he was in any sense equal to God, except as it pleased God to make him so. Neither was it written to promulgate the doctrine of Original Sin, or of Pre-Existence, etcetera, etcetera...
As well as distorting our understanding of the Kingdom Plan, these doctrines impose a barrier between Jesus and the rest of humanity, they misrepresent the values he stood for, they falsify the issues that brought him into collision with the priests, and they conceal the motives of those who caused him to be crucified.
But, most of all, these doctrines conceal the fact that the same issues and the same principles are just as much alive today as they were in the time of Jesus of Nazareth. By means of these doctrines, the leaders of organisational Christendom have achieved, on an intellectual level, what their predecessor priests in Jerusalem had hoped to achieve on a physical level, that is -
THE COMPLETE DESTRUCTION OF THE MAN JESUS OF NAZARETH AND THE PRINCIPLES HE LIVED AND DIED FOR!
to be continued...