Messianic Expectations

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    Donaldson, Terry L.

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    Levitical Messianology in Late Judaism: Origins, Development and Decline

    "The apocryphal and pseudepigraphal literature of the intertestamental period bears witness to a striking development in Jewish messianic expectation--namely, the emergence of the idea that the Messiah, or at least one of the eschatological figures associated with the coming of the end, would be a priestly member of the tribe of Levi. The Levitical messianology represents a radical departure from traditional thought but is quite understandable against the background of the historical situation. Or, to speak in figurative terms, the stream of messianic thought wanders somewhat from its usual course during this period, but this diversion of the stream can be understood when one takes into account the topography of the times."
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    Ellison, H. L.

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    The Centrality of the Messianic Idea For the Old Testament

    "Though the 150 years before Christ show an increasing fervour in Messianic belief, Delitzsch is not exaggerating when he says, 'The development of the Messianic idea after the conclusion of the canon remains... far behind that which precedes in the time of the Old Testament prophecy. It affords no progress, but rather a regress'...[T]here is no convincing evidence that the three concepts of Messianic King, Suffering Servant and Son of Man were ever brought together before the time of Christ...Granting, then, that we have grounds for tracing the New Testament interpretation of the Old to Jesus Christ Himself, are we justified in considering this to be the true understanding of the Old Testament, or has it been merely superimposed on older Israelite traditions which bore very different meanings originally, as many would have us believe?"
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    Evans, Craig A.

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    Messianic Hopes and Messianic Figures in Late Antiquity

    "The nature and importance of messianism for early Judaism and Christianity continue to be debated. Its definition and how far back it may be traced are among the points that are the most sharply disputed. Another important question concerns the extent to which messianism played a role in the shaping of the theologies of various expressions of Judaism and Christianity. For example, was messianism a central or fundamental tenet in early Judaism, as it came to be for Christianity? This essay will address all of these questions, and will attempt a sketch of the origins, development, forms, and influence of messianism in late antiquity."
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    Marshall, I. Howard

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    The Messiah in the First Century: A Review Article

    "It is right to recognize the variety of beliefs about the future and about a messianic type of figure in Judaism. But this simply does not lead us to the view that there was no sort of messianism for Jesus and his followers to react to. It is inconceivable that the idea was not alive. Equally it is clear that the teaching and career of Jesus gave a fresh shape to messianism."
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    Miller, Glenn

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    Messianic Expectations in 1st Century Judaism: Documentation from Non-Christian Sources

    "...[A] messianic expectation (broadly considered) was present in the wide range of Jewish groups that produced literature--throughout the time period--and...for some of them, their expectations for the 'deliverer who shall come forth from Jacob' was intense, theologically-charged, and surprisingly detailed. It was into this world of mixed hopes, pre-conceived categories, and pre-built eschatologies that Jesus of Nazareth proclaimed that 'the Kingdom of God has drawn nigh'."
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    Sailhamer, John H.

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    The Messiah and the Hebrew Bible

    "What I have tried to suggest is that it can be argued that the books of the OT are messianic in the full NT sense of the word. The OT is the light that points the way to the NT. The NT is not only to cast its light back on the Old, but more importantly, the light of the OT is to be cast on the New. The books of the OT were written as the embodiment of a real, messianic hope—a hope in a future miraculous work of God in sending a promised Redeemer. This was not an afterthought in the Hebrew Bible. This was not the work of final redactors."