Since it is April Fools Day, I've decided to interrupt the Trinity on Trial series and make some observations about the "messiah."
On this day, we may perhaps join with "he who sits in the heavens" and laugh at the cosmic joke perpetrated on those narcissistic scholars and theologians who looked into the pool of scripture, saw themselves reflected there, and fashioned the fantasy known as "Jesus Christ" according to their image, their likeness, their values, and their delusions of grandeur.
This god-man bears no resemblance to the man known to his contemporaries as Yeshua Hanotzri.
A changed outlook
The authors of the Hebrew Scriptures expected that, one day, a man would appear who would rule the world in righteousness. This man is known as the "messiah." Numerous expectations about the man and his mission are found in the Hebrew Scriptures.
The writers of the New Testament claimed that Yeshua Hanotzri was the man referred to in the Hebrew Scriptures and cite many texts from the Law, the Prophets, and the Psalms to support that claim.
The 'orthodox' Christian churches - those churches deriving their doctrines from the 'catholic' churches of the Greek-Roman Empire - introduced many irrelevant issues. The New Testament was written to prove, on the basis of the Hebrew Scriptures, that Yeshua was the man appointed to rule the world in righteousness. It was not written to promote the preposterous and pagan doctrines of the Virgin Birth, the Miraculous Incarnation, the Trinity, Original Sin...ad infinitum...ad nauseum.
The majority opinion amongst Jewish scholars and sages through the intervening centuries is that their messiah has not yet appeared. They cite messianic expectations which, they claim, were not fulfilled by Yeshua. They are quite correct - some were not fulfilled.
So we can see that while both Jews and Christians base their arguments on the same material from the Hebrew Scriptures, and start with the same assumption that they predict only one coming of the messiah, they reach conclusions which are contradictory.
The truth is that when all the prophecies relating to the 'anointed one' are analysed, it emerges that they cannot all be fulfilled by one man at one time.
The basic assumptions of both Judaism and Christianity are, therefore, erroneous. In order for all the expectations to be fulfilled, the man ordained as the messiah must:
- appear at different times;
- under different circumstances;
- with somewhat similar results.
This situation calls forth some interesting observations:
- Judaism is incorrect in thinking that the messiah has yet to appear a first time.
- Christians are incorrect if they assume they could never meet the messiah face-to-face and be confronted with the same conflict of values as were the Israelites of 30 AD.
This may appear revelatory to Christians and we will delve into this matter further when we have dealt thoroughly with Christian church doctrine.