A further comment on Jesus the messiah, Isaiah 53, Psalm 22

Christians point ‘to passages in the Bible that talked about one who suffered and was then vindicated, passages such as Isaiah 53 and Psalm 22. Jews, though, had a ready response: these passages are not talking about the messiah. And you can see by reading them for yourself, in fact the word messiah never occurs in them.

Whether or not you choose to understand these passages as referring to the messiah, even though they make no explicit reference to the messiah, is beside my point at this stage. My point here is that no Jew before Christianity was on the scene ever interpreted such passages as referring to the messiah. The messiah was to be a figure of great strength who overwhelmed the enemy and set up God’s kingdom; but Jesus was squashed by the enemy. For most Jews, this was decisive enough. Jesus wasn’t the messiah, more or less by definition.’

Professor Bart Ehrman, The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings (emphasis added).

Happily when Jesus returns he will slay the Antichrist and then everyone who is one of the People of the Book (Jews and Christians) will believe in him. Thus, there will be one community, that of Islam. And indeed the messiah will bring universal peace and justice as was promised in the Jewish Scriptures.



Categories: Bart Ehrman, Bible, Christianity, Islam, Jesus, New Testament scholarship

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