Second-Temple Period Messiahs

by Doug Mason 5 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Doug Mason
    Doug Mason

    Writing is a lonely discipline that is constantly beset with self-doubt and constant self-criticism. That is the way it needs to be.

    There are times when I need to reach out for help in the form of criticism from others. This is particularly the situation with this material.

    It will form part of a Study I am preparing on the Second-Temple Period.

    I want any feedback at all. It is likely I have located material under the wrong heading; the information might be meaningless; I might have duplicated references; spelling is wrong; my grammar is poor. Please tell me.

    It is not complete. I am waiting for still more books and information, so it will grow and I will be making amendments.

    Thanks, Doug

  • Phizzy

    I will read and report back later Doug, glad to see this as a work in progress, an interesting subject.

  • Phizzy

    Hi Doug, I have speed read what you have written, and did not spot one Typo, but I too am getting old so cannot swear that I have not missed one !

    The only observation I have is that though you make it plain you are dealing with the development of evolution of the Messiah concept by comparing the views as they appeared chronologically, when dealing with N.T writings you have not always mentioned (again) the time period that the Gospel or whatever was written, for the lay reader it may be helpful to always do this. I think with the letter to the Hebrews, and maybe 1st and 2nd Peter you may not have mentioned their time of writing in the sections. To do so underlines that the evolution of the concepts surrounding the Messiah in Christian thought are very late.

    Having read what you have written thus far, the last Gospel to be written, that of " John" now seems to me to have as one major motive the tidying up of the various concepts of " messiah" for the Jesus/Christ movement to use, and take advantage of.

    Just an irrelevant aside, I noticed the verses from the Gospel of John where the Jews dispute the Messiahship because Jesus comes from Nazareth, does this show that the writer of the Gospel of John was not aware of the anachronistic Census Story in Luke to get around this anomaly, or is this merely a device to show that "the Jews" were ignorant of this story ? I suppose it depends in one way if Luke was generally distributed, being written around 90 C.E , and "John" more than likely a decade or two later, John may not have read it. Although the many points of agreement between Luke and John, and of course the other Gospels, does look as though he was familiar with all three.

  • Terry

    Simply from a reader's standpoint (not a scholar's) a more "friendly" opening is suggested rather than a mile deep plunge into the etymology of a word. By friendly, I of course mean "inviting curiosity" motivating curiosity and drawing the reader into investigate.
    For example:
    "Pouring, smearing, or sprinkling olive oil on your furniture or your priest or a king seems ridiculous!
    Why would smearing oil on a person come to signify special selection by Almighty God? It's an odd ritual, is it not? Most of us who hear the word Messiah certainly don't connect any smearing of oil to its meaning. Yet, that's at the root of Messiah.
    Could it be the absence of soap in ancient Israel that motivated the use of oil as a natural cleanser and beautifying agent which created an association of the oil with beauty, cleansing purification and therefore ritual symbolism was the natural result?"
    Most of the minutiae concerning etymology "feels" like it belongs in the margins for academics with boundless and ravenous appetite for the meaning of meaning itself :)

    A reader's attention must be arrested by a mystery, an unanswered provocation.
    "Were the ancient Jews the only people pouring and smearing olive oil and heads and sacred furniture?"
    "How many Messiahs have come along over the decades and centuries? How do we know which ones were recognized as legitimate or illegitimate?"
    "Where do we find the answer to history's confusing plethora of pretenders, poseurs, counterfeit Messiahs and how important is it to know which distinctions make such differences?"
    In other words, your "audience" must detect a grand plot and sort out the cast of characters (historically and religiously) provoked by the realization "Messiah" is in modern parlance tossed about casually rather than knowingly.
    Where did this "murder" occur and how do we solve it?
    This is not much help, I'm sure. But it is the only suggestion I'm qualified to offer.
    "There's gold in them thar hills."
    The reader who recognizes the presence of gold shall be strongly emboldened to become a prospector hellbent on excavating the rich vein of information you are uncovering.

    Great job, Doug. Keep on keeping on!

  • Diogenesister

    9There is gold, Terry , and you could write a hum dinger of a fictional story using this as a background.......

    ....Did you know there are scholars who believe (with good cause) the Bible was actually written in Alexandria, as in by the 70. (funnily enough a symbolic number, since there were 72 including the chief priest and his deputy). In other words the reason the 70 translated the Bible so word-perfectly, is because they were the ones who came up with the idea (mostly) in the first place!! Of course some of it was classical Babylonian literature and even Greek scholarship (yup, Plato gets his oar in).

    But wouldn’t that be a fabulous premise for a novel?

    Doug I’m going to have a gander after I’ve cooked dinner😜I’d be interested in what you have to say about the video I’ll post below?

  • smiddy3

    Most of us who hear the word Messiah certainly don't connect any smearing of oil to its meaning. Yet, that's at the root of Messiah.

    Terry ,I wonder if it all depended on who was true and who was fake because of the oil they used ?

    Castor oil ,olive oil ,Virgin olive oil ?

    Doug , I look forward to reading through your work . I`ve always had the idea if you want to know how the jews think ask a jew rather than a gentile .

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