Class Warfare Blog

April 26, 2020

Why Do Christians Insist that Jesus was a Jewish Messiah?

Filed under: History,Religion — Steve Ruis @ 8:12 am
Tags: , , ,

I have had this question for quite some time. Christianity is founded not in the slightest on the status of Jesus being a Jewish Messiah. If it were, their scriptures do a horrible job of explaining how Jesus performed that role at all. Instead it sounds like another “god claim” in that he had to be everything . . . because god, you know, and he was an Olympic Champion and won a spelling bee in school, and . . . and . . . just like Yahweh has every god power in the book . . . and he lives beyond space and time . . . and. . . .

In Judaism, a messiah is a human being who is inspired by their god to save the people from oppression. This may be as a war leader or prophet but usually people thought of a war leader who would mobilize the people to overthrow their oppressors.

If Jesus were a messiah in his time, it would be to throw the Romans out, who had been running the show more or less for about a century (ironically enough invited in by both opposing fractions of the reigning Jews of the time; talk about bad judgment). So, did Jesus lead any battles? Not to speak of. The cleansing of the temple probably comes closest but that is probably apocryphal. (Why apocryphal? Ask yourself: Jesus comes in with a “cord” overturning the tables of money changers, but look closely, who is standing behind each of those tables? Answer: a burly guard who would beat the snot out of anyone who came close to his master’s table with ill intent. At least one guard per table would have made a small squad of “corporate muscle” who would have made mincemeat of said Rampaging Jesus™.)

So, shortly after Jesus’ demise, in scripture, the Jews revolt, get crushed by the Romans again, but this time the Temple is razed to the ground, and the followers of Jesus scattered to the winds.

Some messiah. Alfred E. Newman could have done a better job.

A small window on what may actually have gone on there is offered by the book “A Shift in Time” by Lena Einhorn. I am only about half way through but so far she is building up a good case for the scriptures having deliberately placed Jesus 20 or so years earlier in time than the real sources of the story. So, instead of wrapping up Jesus’ life story in the early 30’s CE, they were closer to the early 50’s CE in actuality. Interestingly, during that time, there was an actual insurrection, one involving thousands of participants, etc. and the “magician” who led the insurrection escaped the backlash and so was “at large” and could possibly be “coming back” to cause more trouble in the future.

So, why would this “time shift” be desirable? I don’t know how the author will answer this question but at this point it makes sense to me. If the writers of the gospels (right around the time of the first Jewish-Roman War) are making the foundations of a religion based upon a savior god who will come and whip the asses of Israel’s enemies, and if they told the story as it happened in the 50’s then the Romans would be informed a great deal when the war started up in the year 66 CE. The personages in the stories would be identifiable and could then be rounded up and executed, etc. So, moving the stories back 20 years places them out of recent memory, especially out of the memories of Romans serving in the military.

This explains a great deal about the inconsistencies found in scripture (errors made in making the time shift, probably after the gospels were written) and it established that Jesus was indeed a messiah, having led an insurrection against the Romans, still a failed insurrection, but at least he got a few licks in.

I will provide a more complete book review when I finish the book. (So far, this seems to be a neutral analysis, not having any ax to grind, but like I said . . . ain’t done yet.)

16 Comments »

  1. Ahh, when I saw this new posting Steve it got me excited because nowhere near enough attention or precision is ever placed on this excellent question. It is one of my favorite opening questions to any and all non-Jews or Gentiles who 9.5-times out of 10 NO CHRISTIAN can sufficiently answer with any accuracy! It’s laughable really. 😄

    For example, as a follow-up question to this one—we’ve briefly discussed this before Steve, if you remember—99.9% of modern Christians do not know that there were two distinct dialects/versions of Hebrew and Aramaic that Homeland Jews around 1st-century CE Jerusalem, including Yeshua bar Yosef, spoke and many read and fewer wrote. Knowing this and understanding this fact is VITAL in interpreting, extrapolating, and inferring what many Jewish reformers at that time were trying to change, trying to teach, and ESPECIALLY trying to not be taught for fear of Roman retribution, imprisonment, or execution!

    There is so so much that modern Christianity/Christologists DO NOT HAVE A CLUE ABOUT! 🙄😄

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by Professor Taboo — April 26, 2020 @ 10:50 am | Reply

    • Also, I am definitely going to checkout Einhorn’s book. Sounds fascinating!

      Like

      Comment by Professor Taboo — April 26, 2020 @ 10:52 am | Reply

      • It was reviewed positively by Vridar but he had no summary conclusion as he wanted to see more of what the experts said about it.

        On Sun, Apr 26, 2020 at 10:52 AM Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Steve Ruis — April 26, 2020 @ 11:18 am | Reply

        • Robert Eisenman is one of my most admired scholars of Late Antiquity and is one of the foremost experts on the Dead Sea Scrolls. Did you catch his review of Einhorn’s book?

          What if historians cannot find Jesus because they have been looking in the wrong places? Or, more to the point, the wrong time? That is the suggestion of television documentarian turned New Testament scholar Lena Einhorn, based on a bold and eye-opening new reading of Josephus. Sometimes it takes new eyes to see old things. While she may not convince everyone, her presentation of sources is so meticulous and clear, no one will be able to say after reading A Shift in Time they have not benefitted by immensely widening their horizons and immeasurably increasing their insight.
          Professor Robert Eisenman, author of “James the Brother of Jesus” and “The New Testament Code”

          Liked by 2 people

          Comment by Professor Taboo — April 26, 2020 @ 11:32 am | Reply

          • Cool … have read both of those books. Nice, thanks for the review.

            On Sun, Apr 26, 2020 at 11:32 AM Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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            Liked by 1 person

            Comment by Steve Ruis — April 26, 2020 @ 12:24 pm | Reply

    • We oughta start a club …

      On Sun, Apr 26, 2020 at 10:50 AM Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Steve Ruis — April 26, 2020 @ 11:17 am | Reply

      • Well Steve, I splurged and bought the Kindle version of Lena Einhorn’s book. But damn it Steve, I’m not even halfway thru my current reading of Tim Nichol’s book The Death of Expertise. It’s all your fault! 🤨

        Like

        Comment by Professor Taboo — April 30, 2020 @ 8:31 pm | Reply

  2. Couple of thoughts …

    First, anyone who speculates on occurrences that far back in time is doing just that … speculating. Even the “accepted” timeline is not set in stone. It’s just been the “standard” for so long that it’s become part of the “story.”

    Second, anyone who pays any attention at all to the Hebrew Bible stories (few Christians) knows that the Jewish mashiach in no way fits Yeshua. Yet due to Paul’s “sacred” writings, Christians are convinced that Jesus is the Guy.

    Finally, the reasoning this author uses to validate her POV is, as with all biblical treatises, open for discussion and research.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Nan — April 26, 2020 @ 11:11 am | Reply

    • Yep! One of the things I like about her speculations is she continuously reinforces that they are speculations and tried to shoot holes in them by bringing up contradictory evidence. Like her, I do.

      On Sun, Apr 26, 2020 at 11:11 AM Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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      Liked by 2 people

      Comment by Steve Ruis — April 26, 2020 @ 11:19 am | Reply

    • Addendum: Did you happen to see this by Richard Carrier about Einhorn’s book?
      https://www.richardcarrier.info/archives/11048

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Nan — April 26, 2020 @ 12:13 pm | Reply

      • Thank you for this! I adore Richard Carrier and his review was thoughtful and typical of him.

        If “Jesus Studies” were an actual discipline, there would be compendiums comparing the major threads of the narrative. As it is, it is just a bunch of freelancers competing for attention. There is no structure to the discipline that I can perceive.

        On Sun, Apr 26, 2020 at 12:13 PM Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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        Liked by 2 people

        Comment by Steve Ruis — April 26, 2020 @ 12:35 pm | Reply

      • Wow. Carrier certainly doesn’t mince any words about Einhorn’s credentials… or should I say lack of proper credentials in his view? Lol

        Like

        Comment by Professor Taboo — April 30, 2020 @ 8:33 pm | Reply

        • But it is fair game to mention one’s credentials. They are what they are. But he also lavishes praise on her where it is deserving and points out errors made, some do to a lack of breadth in her expertise.

          I personally don’t care about credentials so much as whether or not someone knows of what they speak. One can be credentialed and still not expert. (My collegiate credentials are old and not used much over the last 15-20 years.) Got a little street cred in other areas.

          On Thu, Apr 30, 2020 at 8:34 PM Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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          Liked by 1 person

          Comment by Steve Ruis — April 30, 2020 @ 9:51 pm | Reply

  3. Einhorn’s book sounds somewhat like “Ceasar’s Messiah” by Joseph Atwill, published in 2005.

    Like

    Comment by silverapplequeen — April 26, 2020 @ 2:43 pm | Reply

    • Like I said, I have only finished half of it, but I think not. Atwill had Josephus writing the gospels as a way to make a less insurrectionist religion for the Jews. I don’t see that is where Einhorn is going.

      On Sun, Apr 26, 2020 at 2:43 PM Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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      Like

      Comment by Steve Ruis — April 26, 2020 @ 9:46 pm | Reply


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