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New Testament Continuance Of Messianic Christology Part 1

New Testament Continuance Of Messianic Christology Part 1

Biblical Theology of Mission Course – 9a



One of the reasons there is such confusion concerning the true nature of the “gospel” is because very few times in the New Testament does anyone actually detail what the gospel is. Many times New Testament writers talk about the gospel, but very rarely does anyone actually detail the gospel itself. Why? Because the whole New Testament assumes the gospel of the Old Testament.
The New Testament assumes the same “gospel” of the Old Testament because it assumes the same cosmogenical framework, the same eschatological conclusion, and the same messianic hope of the Old Testament.


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A.    Continuity of the “Gospel”

1.    One of the reasons there is such confusion concerning the true nature of the “gospel” is because very few times in the New Testament does anyone actually detail what the gospel is.[1]  Many times New Testament writers talk about the gospel, but very rarely does anyone actually detail the gospel itself.[2]  Why?  Because the whole New Testament assumes the gospel of the Old Testament.

And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel (Gk. euaggelion) of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people. (ESV Matthew 4:23)

Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee15 And he taught in their synagogues17 He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah… 18 “The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach the gospel (Gk. euaggelizo) to the poor… (cf. Is. 61:1-3)” (NKJV Luke 4:14-18)

  • The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news (Gk. euaggelizo, LXX) to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,  2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn,  3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion (i.e. Jerusalem)… (NIV Isaiah 61:1-3)

2.    The New Testament assumes the same “gospel” of the Old Testament because it assumes the same cosmogenical framework, the same eschatological conclusion, and the same messianic hope of the Old Testament.

When the governor (Felix) motioned for him to speak, Paul replied… 14 “I admit that I worship the God of our fathers (assuming OT messianic expectations) as a follower of the Way, which they call a sect. I believe everything that agrees (in messianic thought) with the Law and that is written in the Prophets,  15 and I have the same hope in God (concerning messianic restoration) as these men, that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked (cf. Dan. 12:1-3).  16 So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man.” (NIV Acts 24:10-16)

3.    The gospel of the Bible is thus an “eternal gospel” that will never change or be altered by the opinions of man.

Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth– to every nation, tribe, language and people.  7 He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.” (NIV Revelation 14:6-7)

And he (“mighty angel”) swore by him who lives for ever and ever… “There will be no more delay!  7 But in the days when the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet, the mystery of God (i.e. redemptive plan) will be accomplished, just as he announced to his servants the prophets (in the Old Testament).” (NIV Revelation 10:6-7)

B.    Continuity of the “Kingdom of God”

1.    God’s “kingdom” is referenced throughout the Old and New Testaments, and it is clearly a kingdom that presently rules over all creation (cf. 1 Chron. 29:11; Ps. 103:19; 145:11ff; Jer. 10:7ff; Dan. 4:3, 34; Jn. 19:11; Acts 17:24; Rev. 4:2ff).

2.    However, there are also many messianic references to a kingdom on the earth that is given dominion by God, receiving his favor and blessings, and is established eschatologically (cf. Ps. 2:6ff; Is. 9:7; Dan. 2:44; 7:14; Mt. 8:11; 20:21; Lk. 22:30; 2 Pe. 1:11; Rev. 11:15).

3.    This distinction has been the source of much controversy, which is simply solved by distinguishing between the two primary thrones of creation: one in the height of the heavens (cf. Ps. 2:4; 113:5; Is. 40:22; 66:1) and one delegated to man on the earth (cf. Gen. 1:26ff; Ps. 8:4ff; 115:16).

Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?”  3 Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases… 15 May you be blessed by the LORD, who made heaven and earth16 The heavens are the LORD’s heavens, but the earth he has given to the children of man (Hb. adam). (ESV Psalm 115:2-16)

4.    Thus, the “kingdom of God” needs to be delineated between the “universal kingdom”, ruling over all creation from everlasting to everlasting, and the “messianic kingdom”, to be established upon the earth at the end of the age, restoring the original Adamic order.

In a preliminary survey of the very extensive array of Biblical references to the Kingdom of God, especially in the Old Testament, the investigator will be impressed by a series of differences which at first sight may seem to be almost contradictory.  Some of the more important of these differences may be stated as follows: First, certain passages present the Kingdom as something which has always existed; yet other places it seems to have a definite historical beginning among men. (Compare Ps. 10:16 with Dan. 2:44.)  Second, the Kingdom is set forth in Scripture as universal in its scope, outside of which there is no created thing; yet again the Kingdom is revealed as a local rule established on earth. (Compare Ps. 103:19 with Is. 24:23.)  Third, the Kingdom sometimes appears as the rule of God directly, with no intermediary standing between God and man; yet it is also pictured as the rule of God through a mediator who serves as channel between God and man. (Compare Ps. 59:13 with 2:4-6.) … Some of the above distinctions, if not all, have been noticed by Biblical scholars and attempts have been made to explain them; sometimes by asserting the existence of one kingdom with two aspects or phases; or by the assumption of two kingdoms.  For example… These citations, deliberately selected from authors of widely different viewpoints, will be sufficient to show that the distinctions mentioned above are not imaginary.  The question is how to explain them… In one sense it would not be wholly wrong to speak of two kingdoms revealed in the Bible.  But we must at the same time guard carefully against the notion that these two kingdoms are absolutely distinct, one from the other.  There is value and instruction in thinking of them as two aspects or phases of the one rule of our sovereign God.  In seeking for terms which might best designate these two things, I can find nothing better than the adjectives “universal” and “mediatorial.”  These are not exactly commensurate terms, of course, but describe different qualities; the first referring to the extent of rule, the latter to the method of rule.  Nevertheless, in each case the designated quality seems to be the most important for purposes of identification.[3]

5.    The harmony between these two kingdoms are forever restored in the age to come when the throne of the Messiah comes together with the throne of the Father in the complete renewal of the heavens and earth (cf. Rev. 22:1ff; Eph. 1:9ff; 1 Cor. 15:24-28).

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb  2 down the middle of the great street of the city… 3 No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. (NIV Revelation 22:1-3)

Then comes the end, when he (Messiah) delivers the kingdom (i.e. Messianic) to God the Father (i.e. Universal) after destroying every rule and every authority and power.  25 For he (Messiah) must reign until he (Father) has put all his (Father’s/Messiah’s) enemies under his (Messiah’s) feet.  26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death.  27 For “God (Father) has put all things in subjection under his (Messiah’s) feet.” (cf. Ps. 8:6) But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he (Father) is excepted who put all things in subjection under him (Messiah).  28 When all things are subjected (by the Father) to him (Messiah), then the Son himself (Messiah) will also be subjected to him (Father) who put all things in subjection under him (Messiah), that God may be all in all (governmentally). (ESV 1 Corinthians 15:24-28)

6.    The New Testament phrase “kingdom of God”, however, needs to be understood as a Jewish phrase used during the time of the Roman Empire to refer specifically to the Messianic Kingdom.  Though a few instances of its use may initially seem confusing (cf. Mt. 3:1; 11:11f; 12:28; 16:28; Lk. 17:21; 23:42f; Jn. 3:3ff; 18:36; Rom. 14:17; 1 Cor. 4:20), further investigation and larger context reveal a seamless understanding: the Messianic Kingdom is a future reality to be initiated upon the earth at the Day of the Lord (i.e. Second Coming).

I tell you, many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven12 while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness. (ESV Matthew 8:11-12)

For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (ESV 2 Peter 1:11)

7.    Though the Universal Kingdom, which Jesus is presently ruling over amnestically (cf. Mt. 28:18; Acts 2:33; Eph. 1:21; 1 Pe. 3:22; etc.), retains absolute sovereignty over all the nations (cf. Rom. 13:1; Col. 1:17; Acts 17:24ff; etc.), it will execute judgment upon the nations at the hand of the Messiah at the end of the age.  The only confusion in the New Testament concerning this simple understanding of the Kingdom is the suffering of the Messiah before the establishing of the glory of the Messiah (cf. Lk. 24:26; Acts 3:18; 17:3; 1 Pe. 1:11; Heb. 2:10ff).

How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken!  26 Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory? (NIV Luke 24:25-26)

Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care,  11 trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. (NIV 1 Peter 1:10-11)

[1] The term “gospel” comes from one of two sources: 1) the noun euvagge,lion (euaggelion), used 6 times in the LXX and 77 times in the NT, meaning “good tidings, good news” (USB); or 2) the verb euvaggeli,zw (euaggelizo), used 19 times in the LXX and 55 times in the NT, meaning “to bring the good news, preach the good news” (USB).  Depending on the translation, these two words are generally rendered “gospel” or “good news” and “preach the gospel” or “preach the good news.”  Formal equivalence translations favor “gospel,” while dynamic equivalence translations often use “good news.”

[2] For example, the KJV/NKJV uses the word “gospel” more than any other translation (103 times) in the New Testament: Matt. 4:23; 9:35; 11:5; 24:14; 26:13; Mk. 1:1, 14f; 8:35; 10:29; 13:10; 14:9; 16:15; Lk. 4:18; 7:22; 9:6; 20:1; Acts 8:25; 14:7, 21; 15:7; 16:10; 20:24; Rom. 1:1, 9, 15f; 2:16; 10:15f; 11:28; 15:16, 19f, 29; 16:25; 1 Co. 1:17; 4:15; 9:12, 14, 16, 18, 23; 15:1; 2 Co. 2:12; 4:3f; 8:18; 9:13; 10:14, 16; 11:4, 7; Gal. 1:6ff, 11; 2:2, 5, 7, 14; 3:8; 4:13; Eph. 1:13; 3:6; 6:15, 19; Phil. 1:5, 7, 12, 17, 27; 2:22; 4:3, 15; Col. 1:5, 23; 1 Thess. 1:5; 2:2, 4, 8f; 3:2; 2 Thess. 1:8; 2:14; 1 Tim. 1:11; 2 Tim. 1:8, 10; 2:8; Phlm. 1:13; Heb. 4:2; 1 Pet. 1:12, 25; 4:6, 17; Rev. 14:6.  Of these instances, only a handful give any commentary on the nature of the gospel itself beyond the genitives “of God,” “of the kingdom,” “of Christ,” etc.: Rom. 1:1fff; 2:16; 1 Cor. 15:1-57; Gal. 3:8; 2 Thess. 1:5-10; 2 Tim. 1:8fff; 2:8ff; 1 Pet. 1:23ff; Rev. 14:6f.  Only 1 Corinthians 15 directly addresses the gospel and attempts to explain its content beyond one or two sentences.

[3] Alva J. McClain, The Greatness of the Kingdom: An Inductive Study of the Kingdom of God (BMH Books, 1959), 19-21.



A.    Introduction of Messiah

1.    Genealogical Introduction

The record of the genealogy (ensuring legal right to the covenants) of Jesus Christ (transliteration > proper name;[1] “the Messiah” NLT), the son of David (assumed continuance of Davidic messianic prophecies), the son of Abraham (assumed continuance of Abrahamic messianic prophecies)… 17 Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Christ (“Messiah” NLT, i.e. assuming messianic expectations). (NIV Matthew 1:1, 17)

  • <5547> cristo,j christos {khris-tos’}

Meaning:  Christ = “anointed” 1) Christ was the Messiah, the Son of God 2) anointed

Origin:  from 5548 [chrio, “to anoint”]; TDNT – 9:493,1322; adj

Usage:  AV – Christ 569; 569


2.    Birth of Messiah

And the angel (Gabriel) said to her (Mary)… 32 “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High (cf. 2 Sam. 7:14; Ps. 2:7; 72:1). And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David (cf. Jer. 23:5; Ez. 37:24),  33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever (cf. 2 Sam. 7:16; Is. 9:7; Mic. 4:7), and of his kingdom there will be no end (cf. Dan. 2:44; 7:27).” (NIV Luke 1:30-33)

And Mary said (in response to Elizabeth’s declaration), “My soul magnifies the Lord… 52 he has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate… 54 He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy,  55 as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his offspring forever.” (ESV Luke 1:46-55)

And his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied (concerning John the Baptist), saying,  68 “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has visited and redeemed his people  69 and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David,  70 as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old72 to show the mercy promised to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant,  73 the oath that he swore to our father Abraham. (ESV Luke 1:67-73)

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby… 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.  10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news (Gk. euaggelizo) of great joy that will be for all the people.  11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ (“Messiah” NLT/NRSV) the Lord13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,  14 “Glory to God in the highest (of heavens), and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests (i.e. prophetic declaration of his messianic government).” (NIV Luke 2:8-14)

Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel (“eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come and rescue Israel” NLT), and the Holy Spirit was upon him.  26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ (“Messiah” NLT). (ESV Luke 2:25-26)

3.    Preparation for Messiah

In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea,  2 “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven (lit. “heaven’s kingdom”, cf. Dan. 2:44; 7:14; etc.) is at hand (“near” NIV/NLT/NRSV; i.e. the Messianic Kingdom is soon to be inaugurated; cf. Is. 13:6; Joel 1:15; 2:1; 3:14; Zeph. 1:14).”… 5 Then Jerusalem and all Judea and all the region about the Jordan were going out to him,  6 and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins (to escape the judgment of the soon coming Messianic Kingdom). (ESV Matthew 3:1-6)

  • In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever. (NIV Daniel 2:44)
  • I kept looking in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven one like a Son of Man was coming… 14 to Him was given dominion, glory and a kingdom… His dominion is an everlasting dominion which will not pass away; and His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed… 18 the saints of the Highest One will receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, for all ages to come.’ (NASB Daniel 7:13-18)
  • Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God is near you.’  10 But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say,  11 ‘Even the dust of your town that sticks to our feet we wipe off against you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God is near.’  12 I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town. (NIV Luke 10:9-12)
  • Wail, for the day of the LORD is near (“at hand” KJV/NKJV); as destruction from the Almighty it will come! … 9 Behold, the day of the LORD comes, cruel, with wrath and fierce anger, to make the land a desolation and to destroy its sinners from it. (ESV Isaiah 13:6-9)
  • Blow a trumpet in Zion; sound an alarm on my holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of the LORD is coming; it is near (“at hand” KJV/NKJV/NIV),  2 a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness! (ESV Joel 2:1-2)

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar… the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the desert.  3 He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins4 As is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet: “A voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord (i.e. Messiah, cf. Is. 40:3; Mal. 3:1), make straight paths for him… 6 And all mankind will see God’s salvation (i.e. theocratic restoration of all things).'”  7 John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath (of the Messianic Kingdom)? … 15 The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Christ (“Messiah” NLT).  16 John answered them all, “I baptize you with water. But one more powerful than I will come… He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit (i.e. reward of righteous in resurrection; cf. Is. 32:15; 44:3; Ez. 39:29) and with fire (i.e. punishment of wicked in judgment; cf. Mal. 4:1; Ps. 21:9f; Nah. 1:5f; Zeph. 1:18).  17 His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat (i.e. righteous) into his barn (i.e. Messianic Kingdom, cf. Mt. 13:30), but he will burn up the chaff (i.e. wicked) with unquenchable fire (i.e. Gehenna/Lake of Fire, cf. Is. 66:24).”  18 And with many other words John exhorted the people and preached the good news (Gk. euaggelizo, “the gospel” NASB) to them. (NIV Luke 3:1-18)

4.    Baptism of Messiah

As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him (cf. Is. 11:2; 61:1).  17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son (cf. 2 Sam. 7:14; Ps. 2:7; 72:1; 89:26), whom I love; with him I am well pleased (cf. Is. 42:1).” (NIV Matthew 3:16-17)

  • When your days are over and you go to be with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring (Hb. zera, “seed” KJV/NKJV) to succeed you… 12 He is the one who will build a house for me, and I will establish his throne forever.  13 I will be his father, and he will be my son14 I will set him over my house and my kingdom forever; his throne will be established forever. (NIV 1 Chronicles 17:11-14)
  • The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the LORD and against his Anointed One (Hb. mashiyach)… 7 I (mashiyach) will proclaim the decree of the LORD: He (YHVH) said to me (mashiyach), “You are my Son; today I have become your Father.  8 Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession.” (NIV Psalm 2:2-12)
  • Endow the king with your justice, O God, the royal son with your righteousness… 8 He will rule from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth… 11 All kings will bow down to him and all nations will serve him. (NIV Psalm 72:1-17)
  • My faithful love will be with him (David), and through my name his horn will be exalted25 I will set his hand over the sea, his right hand over the rivers.  26 He will call out to me, ‘You are my Father, my God, the Rock my Savior.’  27 I will also appoint him my firstborn, the most exalted of the kings of the earth. (NIV Psalm 89:20-27)

B.    Ministry of Messiah

1.    Early Declarations

Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him (cf. Is. 11:2; 42:1; 61:1)… 34 I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God (cf. 2 Sam. 7:14; Ps. 2:7; 72:1; etc.).” … 41 The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah (Gk. messias) (that is, the Christ [Gk. christos, “which is translated Anointed” NRSV]).” … 45 Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote.” … 49 Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel (i.e. Messiah/Anointed; cf. Ps. 2:6; Dan. 9:25; Hos. 3:5; Mic. 5:2; Zech. 9:9).”  50 Jesus said, “You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You shall see greater things than that.”  51 He then added, “I tell you the truth, you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man (cf. Gen. 28:12-15; to serve him; strengthen him, and establish his government over the heavens and earth).” (NIV John 1:32-51)

  • <3323> messi,aj messias {mes-see’-as}

Meaning:  Messias = “anointed” 1) the Greek form of Messiah 2) a name of Christ [“Messiah—Aramaic and Hebrew equivalent of Greek Cristo,j” USB]

Origin: of Hebrew origin 04899 [Hb. mashiyach]; see 5547 Christos, TDNT 9:493

Usage: AV – Messias 2; 2 [Jn. 1:41; 4:25]

  • To which of the angels did God ever say, “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet” (cf. Ps. 110:1)?  14 Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation (esp. Messiah; cf. 1:3, “appointed heir of all things”)? (NIV Hebrews 1:13-14)
  • When the Son of Man comes (to the earth) in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne (in Jerusalem, cf. Is. 2:3; Ps. 2:6; 48:2; Joel 2:32; Zech. 14:8) in heavenly glory (i.e. angels upholding his governance). (NIV Matthew 25:31)

The woman said, “I know that Messiah (Gk. messias)” (called Christ [Gk. christos]) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”  26 Then Jesus declared, “I who speak to you am he (without dishonesty concerning her expectations).”… 28 Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people,  29 “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ (“Messiah” NLT)?”… 39 Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him (as OT Messiah) because of the woman’s testimony… 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days.  41 And because of his words many more became believers42 They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world (i.e. cosmogenical restorer).” (NIV John 4:25-42)

“You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve.  68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life (i.e. resurrection from the dead; cf. Dan. 7:27; 12:3).  69 We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God (i.e. the OT Messiah; cf. Ps. 16:10; Is. 40:25; Dan. 9:24; Hab. 3:3).” (NIV John 6:67-69)

On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.  38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said (OT Scripture > OT Messiah), streams of living water will flow from within him.” … 40 On hearing his words, some of the people said, “Surely this man is the Prophet (cf. Deut. 18:15-18).”  41 Others said, “He is the Christ.” Still others asked, “How can the Christ come from Galilee?” (NIV John 7:37-41)

[1] “As has already been implied, messianism did not match the character of Jesus’ actions and teachings. From what we can recover of his public activity, we find nothing that points in the direction of messianic ambition… So how could Jesus have used the term Messiah of himself, or encouraged his disciples to do so, without causing immense confusion and misunderstanding? One can only wonder how the church might have been different, had the title “Christ” not become a proper noun, and Christians not rallied around the messianic concept so persistently—and how different Jewish-Christian relations might have been, had the messiahship of Jesus not become an issue between Jews and Christians.” (J. Peter Bercovitz, “Messianic Expectation in Judaism, Its Reception in the Early Church, and Jesus,” Proceedings: Eastern Great Lakes and Midwest Biblical Societies, 27 August 2003; available at’n.htm.)

John (117 Posts)

John lives in Columbia, SC with his wife, Lydia, and four children. He travels and teaches on the Cross, the return of Jesus, and the Great Commission.

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