JiscMail Logo
Email discussion lists for the UK Education and Research communities

Help for MEDIEVAL-RELIGION Archives


MEDIEVAL-RELIGION Archives

MEDIEVAL-RELIGION Archives


MEDIEVAL-RELIGION@JISCMAIL.AC.UK


View:

Message:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Topic:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Author:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

Font:

Proportional Font

LISTSERV Archives

LISTSERV Archives

MEDIEVAL-RELIGION Home

MEDIEVAL-RELIGION Home

MEDIEVAL-RELIGION  December 2000

MEDIEVAL-RELIGION December 2000

Options

Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Log In

Log In

Get Password

Get Password

Subject:

Re: The Jewish messiah (was Millenialism and the Antichrist)

From:

Richard Landes <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 21 Dec 2000 19:20:09 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (134 lines)

At 04:02 AM 12/21/00 -0500, you wrote:
>In a message dated 12/20/00 9:21:04 PM Eastern Standard Time,
>[log in to unmask] writes:
>
> > 2) where Gow holds that the identification of the Antichrist with the one
> >  who many Jews would accept as their Christ as opposed to Jesus Christ
> was a
> >  Medieval, largely anti-semitic invention (pp. 2-3).  I guess he has never
> >  read Scripture (John 5:43; Mt 24:24; 2 Thes 2:1ff.) or St. Chrysostom, St.
> >  Augustine, St. Cyrill, who are hardly described as medievals.
> >
>Messianic expectations originate in the OT, which of course lays the
>foundation for the Christian claim that Christ is the fulfullment of the OT
>prophecies. Emphasis is often put on the point that Jews don't believe Christ
>was divine, and don't believe he was the messiah. But it's not always made
>clear that this is essentially a mistaken identity argument. It's perfectly
>possible to be a devout Jew and believe that the messiah, as predicted,  will
>  appear in due time (but Christ was not that messiah).

according to Maimonides 13 principles of the faith, it is questionable to
be a devout jew and not believe in the coming of the messiah and the
resurrection of the dead.

>Some (not all) of the
>Lubavicher Hasidim believe that their

now 7 years dead

>rebbe, Menachem Schneerson, was the
>messiah. Although this may sound odd from a Christian perspective,

why? it follows a very similar pattern to the beliefs of the early
disciples of jesus

>the OT
>doesn't require that the messiah be superhuman or an incarnation of God. He
>might be just a great leader, another King David.

deification of messianic figures tends to happen after they are dead
(jesus, schneerson), and compensate in the imagination for their failure to
transform the world into the messianic era (ie. millennial failure)

>Whether he'll appear in the
>near future or far future is left a mystery, at least in the OT.

and even more explicitly left a mystery in the NT.  actually the HB (OT is
such a religiously invidious term), being a far less coherent collection of
texts written over almost half a millennium, has far less coherent ideas
about the messiah than the NT.  the closest thing to a discussion of when
the messiah will come is in the talmud -- Sanhedrin 97-99 and other
scattered discussions -- and there you find dozens of wildly disparate
opinions, including the classic owl to the classic rooster "Akiva [who
supported Bar Kochba as the messiah], grass will grow btwn your cheeks [ie
you'll be dead and decomposed] before the messiah comes."

>A subsidiary
>point is that Jews are not alone in understandings of Christ that are
>non-trinitarian or deviant from a catholic perspective. In Islam, Christ is
>regarded as one of the prophets, not divine. Unitarians too regard him as
>human, not divine, and not a member of a trinity.

the real problem here is not the variety of options, it's how xns (those
committed to the deity of jesus) felt about these options.  somewhere in
the 12th cn, xn theologians began to claim that the jews rejected jesus not
because they were blind and didn't know that he was god (unintentional
deicide) but because they knew perfectly well that he was god and the
messiah of mankind and they wanted to kill him (intentional and
malicious).  as we all know, whether you think someone has harmed you
intentionally or unintentionally has a great deal to do with how angry and
vindictive you get.  nothing quite gets the vengeful juices flowing like
attributing vindictive malice to your opponent.

>In any case, I agree with you, Br. Alexis, on the point that the idea of a
>messiah for the Jews was not invented during the middle ages or by
>antisemites.

that's not the point gow is making.  it's that that jewish messiah is none
other than the xn antichrist, or rather that the antichrist is the jewish
messiah.  this means that, as opposed to modern ecumenical attitudes (when
the messiah comes we'll ask him if this is his first or second visit), any
jewish belief that redemption was at hand automatically triggered xn fears
of annihilation... not a bad seedbed for the worst kind of anti-jewish
virulence.  indeed, for the authors of the protocols of the elders of zion
and for hitler, modernity was a jewish messianic movt that had to be crushed.

>It's from the Old Testament, the Jewish Bible. Certainly,
>though, anyone can play with this idea in an adversarial manner by filtering
>it through the mistaken identity argument, as in  "my messiah is the right
>messiah and your messiah is the wrong messiah, and--furthermore--your messiah
>is actually satan."

anyone can play, for medieval xn commentators and preachers, it was the
rules of the game.

>Anatole France wrote a novel somewhat along this line, in
>which God turns out to be wicked and the devil is mankind's true friend.

classic gnostic twist.

>To see what was actually done with these ideas at any particular time, we'd
>have to look to artifacts and documents. A Hieronymus Bosch painting of the
>nativity includes not only the three magi but also a sceptre-carrying figure
>who wears a jeweled crown and a loincloth and has a bandage on his leg. The
>art historian Lotte Brand Philips feels that this is the Jewish messiah, and
>points to a story in the Babylonian Talmud that says the messiah will appear
>as a leper (hence the bandage). It's an interesting reading, though I still
>don't understand what he's doing in a painting of the nativity.

maybe by his presence acknowledging the superiority of the xn messianic claim.

>As in the
>story of Saint Martin and the beggar, the messiah-as-leper seems designed to
>test the faith of those who encounter him. But it's also an example of what I
>mean by possible Christianizing elements in the Talmud. For the Jewish
>messiah to come from even more humble circumstances than the Christian
>messiah (who was born in a stable) is a relatively new idea. I see no
>precedent for it in the OT, where the messiah sounds more as if he'll be a
>great king or leader, a David.

possibly.  possibly also a response to the catastrophic losses of the two
failed messianic revolts (70 and 135) and the degraded condition of the
jews in exile.  the tradition of the messiah as humble (eg on a donkey
rather than a horse) predates xnty.

>pat sloane

Richard Landes
Center for Millennial Studies at Boston University      Department of History
704 Commonwealth Ave. Suite 205                 226 Bay State Road
Boston MA 02215                                 Boston MA 02215
617-358-0226 of         358-0225 fax                    617-353-2558
of     353-2556 fax
http://www.mille.org                                    [log in to unmask]

Top of Message | Previous Page | Permalink

JiscMail Tools


RSS Feeds and Sharing


Advanced Options


Archives

October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002
February 2002
January 2002
December 2001
November 2001
October 2001
September 2001
August 2001
July 2001
June 2001
May 2001
April 2001
March 2001
February 2001
January 2001
December 2000
November 2000
October 2000
September 2000
August 2000
July 2000
June 2000
May 2000
April 2000
March 2000
February 2000
January 2000
December 1999
November 1999
October 1999
September 1999
August 1999
July 1999
June 1999
May 1999
April 1999
March 1999
February 1999
January 1999
December 1998
November 1998
October 1998
September 1998
August 1998
July 1998
June 1998
May 1998
April 1998
March 1998
February 1998
January 1998
December 1997
November 1997
October 1997
September 1997
August 1997
July 1997
June 1997
May 1997
April 1997
March 1997
February 1997
January 1997
December 1996
November 1996
October 1996
September 1996
August 1996
July 1996
June 1996
May 1996
April 1996


JiscMail is a Jisc service.

View our service policies at https://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/policyandsecurity/ and Jisc's privacy policy at https://www.jisc.ac.uk/website/privacy-notice

Secured by F-Secure Anti-Virus CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager