Posted: Jul 19, 2013 11:30 pm
by neilgodfrey
spin wrote:
neilgodfrey wrote:

What's a "messianist"?

A believer in a messiah. In Jewish thought the messiah was usually still coming, as in the view of John the Baptist and his proselytes.

So Jews did not as a whole believe in such a messiah? This belief was distinctive enough to be the mark of certain assemblies among the Jews?

I do know of literary evidence for notions of a messiah to come and especially of messiahs that had been in the history of Israel, but I don't know of any evidence that such ideas were discussed and occupied the minds of the general populace of Judea until the time of the first Jewish War.

(John the Baptist as a foreteller of a Messiah can be explained as a literary patch-work creation of miscellaneous OT passages, just the way Psalm 22 etc were worked to create a dramatic declaration on the cross. Josephus who appears to have less of a theological agenda for his account of John the Baptist places him after Christ and associates no messianist view to him.)