Who was Saint Paul?
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12-11-2012, 12:06 PM
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
(12-11-2012 11:45 AM)guitar_nut Wrote:  Lots of cool info being passed around here and I'm trying to understand what your definition of acceptable evidence is, Free. If I read correctly, you're asking for a written record from that specific time period (excluding Biblical references)?

I'm still trying to learn the process by which we develop a consensus on history...


A couple people on this topic, Bucky_Ball and Janus, have made a positive claim that there were many self-proclaimed and/or documented cases of Messiah's & Christs in existence during the 1st century in the area of Judea. They provided a list of names on a Wiki link. However, the Wiki link provides no evidence to support the people on that list that any of them were ever self proclaimed Messiahs/Christs, or that anyone else had entitled them as a Messiah or Christ.

Personally, I have always known this to be nothing more than a traditional rumor, so I asked them to provide any documented evidence that meets the following criteria:

1. Find any historical reference from any time in the 1st century where any persons on their Wiki list had proclaimed themselves to be a Messiah or Christ.

2. Find any historical reference from any time in the 1st century where anyone had ever regarded anyone on their Wiki list to be a Messiah or Christ.


Seems simple enough, and I gave them a broad range of 100 years in the 1st century to find some evidence.

So far, they have not been able to supply any evidence. Bucky keeps laying down Red Herrings and trying to change the topic into something else, such as talking about Josephus and whoever else. He makes assertions and offers opinions, but has not actually met the simple criteria that has been laid out.

As it stands, they have not been capable of substantiating their claims.

That's all it is.

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12-11-2012, 12:15 PM
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
(12-11-2012 11:48 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(12-11-2012 11:42 AM)Free Wrote:  Full stop. Laughat
Readers will read the links and context above, and decide for themselves.
Old men, stomping their feet, saying, "get lost" to "inconvenient kids are really funny.
(still not one counter argument), supported by anything except assertions.
Poster think if he BOLDS something false, it makes it true. Laughat
And yet another useless post that fails to address the criteria laid out.

Suffice to say you have failed, and we should now move along.

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12-11-2012, 01:09 PM (This post was last modified: 12-11-2012 04:25 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
(12-11-2012 12:15 PM)Free Wrote:  
(12-11-2012 11:48 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Readers will read the links and context above, and decide for themselves.
Old men, stomping their feet, saying, "get lost" to "inconvenient kids are really funny.
(still not one counter argument), supported by anything except assertions.
Poster think if he BOLDS something false, it makes it true. Laughat
And yet another useless post that fails to address the criteria laid out.

Suffice to say you have failed, and we should now move along.
Nope. Dr. Fulton, also provided evidence for the view, as any objective reader knows, full well, and we have has seen, and when Mark gets home from work, will no doubt address the issues.

The fact the the above poster is trying to create a fallacious division, by ignoring what Mark posted, to create an illusory division where there there is none, by ignoring Marks posts, as they are also "inconvenient" to his constant arguing from his (presumed) elderly, or "long-held", tradition while STILL not addressing the cultural issues discussed above, allows any objective reader to ask them self why he is doing that.

No one is going to prove anything to anyone here, and CERTAINLY, no one is going to change above posters set of rigid views he established a LONG time ago. The fact is Biblical scholarship is a work in progress. All we can do is plant seeds for thought. I have provided links and introduced concepts that may be "off the beaten track", just as Mark has, but as Ehrman says, "if they only knew" what was being taught in mainline centers, the public would not believe their ears.

As I pointed out above, posters insistence that it's about someone "winning or losing" or "failing", from his presumptuous patronizing "superior" *get-lost-kid* approach, proves only his essential insecurity, in the face of ideas he cannot even begin to, or attempt to address. In fact he actually went so far as to say it's NOT about trying to understand the culture of the ancient Near East.

Weeping

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12-11-2012, 01:33 PM (This post was last modified: 12-11-2012 01:36 PM by Free.)
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
Quote:Nope. Dr. Fulton, also provided evidence for the view, as any objective reader knows, full well, and we have has seen, and when Mark gets home from work, will no doubt address the issues.

Unfortunately, like you and Janus, Mark will also not be able to meet the criteria because no such textual evidence exists.

Quote:The fact the the above poster is trying to create a fallacious division, by ignoring what Mark posted, to create an illusory division where there there is none, by ignoring Marks posts, as they are also "inconvenient" to his constant arguing from his (presumed) elderl, or "long-held", tradition while STILL not addressing the cultural issues discussed above, allows any objective reader to ask them self why he is doing that.

I did not ignore what Mark wrote. In fact I analyzed it. At the end of the day, he provided no evidence to meet the criteria.

Quote:No one is going to prove anything to anyone here, and CERTAINLY, no one is going to change above posters set of rigid views he established a LONG time ago. The fact is Biblical scholarship is a work in progress. All we can do is plant seeds for thought. I have provided links and introduced concepts that may be "off the beaten track", just as Mark has, but as Ehrman says, "if they only knew" what was being taught in mainline centers, the public would not believe their ears.

You made a positive claim that requires evidence to substantiate. You have failed to provide the evidence to meet the criteria. Whatever Ehrman said is irrelevant.

I do not need to prove anything, since I did not make the claim.

Quote:As I pointed out above, posters insistence that it's about someone "winning or losing" or "failing", from his presumptuous patronizing "superior" *get-lost-kid* approach, proves only his essential insecurity, in the face of ideas he cannot even begin to, or attempt to address. In fact he actually went so far as to say it's NOT about trying to understand the culture of the ancient Near East.

I have not changed the criteria to make this all about "trying to understand the culture of the ancient Near East." You did that, not me. My request was straight forward and simple, and you have failed to address it.

Stop laying down Red Herrings and meet the simple criteria I outlined.

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12-11-2012, 01:37 PM (This post was last modified: 12-11-2012 01:45 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
(12-11-2012 01:33 PM)Free Wrote:  Stop laying down Red Herrings and meet the simple criteria I outlined.

Whatever you say, old guy. Whatever you say.
(nothing addressed, per usual).
The readers will decide for themselves.
They all know, if we were to actually go back there, they didn't wear signs around their necks, "Officially approved *stamped by Free* messiah"
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12-11-2012, 04:00 PM (This post was last modified: 12-11-2012 04:10 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
(12-11-2012 09:32 AM)Free Wrote:  
(11-11-2012 09:49 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Hi Free, the reason you keep hearing about them is because there were so many.


In Yeshua’s day there was a widespread hope among most Jews that a Messiahwould lead the people in a revolt to establish the kingdom of God, in which the world’s wealth would be distributed evenly, not condensed in Roman hands and aristocratic families. Josephus, writing in the late first century, explains this:“That which chiefly excited them to war was an ambiguous prophecy, which was also found in the sacred books, that at that time someone, within their country should arise, that should obtain the empire of the whole world. For this they had spoken of one of their nation; and many wise men were deceived with the interpretation” (Josephus, Wars of the Jews).

Two secular Romans say something similar:“There had spread all over the Orient an old and established belief, that it was fated for men coming from Judea to rule the world.” (Seutonius, Life of Vespasian, 4.5).“The majority [of the Jews] were convinced that the ancient scriptures of their priests alluded to the present as the very time when the Orient would triumph and from Judea would go forth men destined to rule the world.” (Tacitus, Histories 5.13).

Throughout the first century revolutionary groups of zealots led by hopeful messianic leaders commonly formed, promised apocalyptic deliverance, but achieved nothing lasting.

The Qumran community, who compiled the Dead Sea Scrolls, was one such group. They had a pathological hatred for the Romans (whom they called the “kittim”) and the Sadducees. After years of Roman domination, they dreamed of a bloody revenge. A part of the Scrolls describes a fantasy of a battle in which the Kittim were crushed:“This shall be a time of salvation for people of God, and age of dominion for all the members of His company, and of everlasting destruction for the company of Satan… The dominion of the Kittim shall come to an end and iniquity shall be vanquished, leaving no remnant for the sons of darkness, there shall be no escape. The sons of righteousness shall shine over all the ends of earth; they shall go on shining until all the seasons of darkness are consumed and, at the season appointed by God, His exalted greatness shall shine eternally to the peace, blessing, glory, and long life of all the sons of light”(1QM1). The leader of the Essenian army who led them in this fantasized battle is unequivocally called the “messiah” (http://religiousstudies.uncc.edu/people/...4q521.html). They were obviously fanatical and totally deluded. None of this ever came true.


The poorer classes pondered over this political pipe dream.Any charismatic Jew brave enough to claim he was the messiah could soon collect a gang of Galilean paupers to back him up, particularly if he was said to be a descendant of David. A young Yeshua must have wondered who the messiah was going to be.

Judas, son of Ezekias, was one....
Galileans were so enraged with the Roman occupation they started skirmishes in 4 BCE, possibly the year Yeshua was born. Judas, son of Ezekias, gathered together a band of bandits who broke into the royal armory at Sepphoris, and stole weapons and money. Further south at Jericho, 30 kilometers from Jerusalem, another Jew named Simon led a pack who torched the royal palace. A shepherd named Athronges raised a rabble that roamed the countryside for a few months. Soon most of Galilee was in revolt. The Roman army responded with brutal force by marching into Galilee, burning towns and villages, and crucifying anyone resisting Roman rule. Three thousand Jews were massacred. There must have been much terror and many innocent people murdered. (http://www.josephus.org/causesOfWar.htm).
There is no mention of this violence in the Gospels, yet Mary, Joseph and their families must have been involved, either as participants or observers. Mary was a young girl vulnerable to rampaging troops. It is possible Yeshua’s biological father was a Roman soldier.

Judas of Galilee was another one....
Zealots were practitioners of armed military resistance against the Romans. As such they were more a militant political than a religious movement, but as with most things Jewish, their ideals were inspired by their religion. Galilee was the heartland of zealotry. Judas of Galilee (not to be confused with Judas Iscariot, the disciple - who was also a zealot) was an important zealot figure in 6 CE. This is part of what Josephus had to say about him.“Judas the Galilean was the author of the fourth branch of Jewish philosophy. These men agree in all other things with the Pharisaic notions; but they have an inviolable attachment to liberty, and say that God is to be their only Ruler and Lord. They also do not value dying any kinds of death, nor indeed do they heed the deaths of their relations and friends, nor can any such fear make them call any man lord.”
Josephus didn’t document what happened to Judas, but interestingly the author of Acts, wrote, “And then there was Judas the Galilean, at the time of the census, who attracted crowds of supporters; but he got killed too and all of his followers dispersed” (Acts 5:38, NJB). The author didn’t mention that Roman soldiers killed Judas because he didn’t want readers drawing parallels with Jesus. We know from other historians that most of Judas’ followers weren’t dispersed; they were killed in battle or captured and crucified.



Then there were three others in the first Jewish war...Josephus writes that there were a number of prominent zealots who entered Jerusalem and claimed they were the messiah.


The first was Menahem. Josephus states, “In the meantime, one Menahem, the son of that Judas, who was called the Galilean, took some of the men of note with him, and retired to Masada, where he broke open King Herod's armory, and gave arms not only to his own people, but to other robbers also. These he made use of for a guard, and returned in the state of a king to Jerusalem; he became the leader of the sedition.”Menahem captured the governor's palace at Jerusalem, laid siege to some minor Roman fortifications, and ordered the execution of the high priest Ananias. At this point, as the only leader of the Jewish revolt, he could boast remarkable successes. However, he incurred the wrath of Ananias’ son, Eleasar, who was the leader of the temple guard. Josephus continues:“The overthrow of the places of strength, and the death of the high priest Ananias, so puffed up Menahem, that he became barbarously cruel; and as he thought he had no antagonist to dispute the management of affairs with him, he was no better than an insupportable tyrant. But Eleasar and his party made an assault upon him in the temple, for he went up thither to worship in a pompous manner, and adorned with royal garments, and had his followers with him in their armor. Eleasar and his party fell violently upon him, as did also the rest of the people; taking up stones to attack him withal, they threw them at the scholar, and thought, that if he were once ruined, the entire sedition would fall to the ground. Menahem and his party made resistance for a while, but when they perceived that the whole multitude were falling upon them, they fled which way every one was able; those that were caught were slain, and those that hid themselves were searched for. A few of them escaped privately to Masada. As for Menahem himself, he ran away to the place called Ophla, and there lay skulking in private; but they took him alive, and drew him out before them all; they then tortured him with many sorts of torments, and after all slew him, as they did by those that were captains under him also.” Menahem’s moment of glory was short-lived.

Simon bar Giora was a more significant messiah, a competent commander of forty thousand soldiers. He set foot in the city in the spring of 69 CE. Archaeologists have unearthed coins in Jerusalem that have Simon’s stamp on them.

Finally, there was John of Gischala. In the first stages of the war, he and Josephus commanded armies in Northern Galilee. John and six thousand men later travelled south to defend Jerusalem.




Hello Mark,

Unfortunately, as mentioned earlier to other posters, none of those references can be accompanied with any written evidence from their time period that any of those ancient people had ever self proclaimed themselves to be a Messiah or Christ, nor is there any evidence that anyone else from their time period had ever considered them to be a Messiah or Christ.

One of the problems with modern scholarship is that there is an over abundance of the use of the Historian's Fallacy, in which some historians will view the past through the lens of present understanding. The only true way to understand what was going on in ancient times is to immerse ones self into the time period, and eat, sleep, and drink the culture from 2000 years ago. As they say, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do."

However, the incorrect concept of numerous 1st century Messiahs & Christs is so ingrained in our current culture that most people automatically assume it is true, when the reality is that there is simply no good evidence to support it. I'm not saying there were no other Messiah's or Christs, but only that there is no good evidence at all to get our teeth into.

We must understand that the list of ist century Messiah claimants only exists in modern literature, and not in ancient history. There simply is no actual historical evidence to support the assertions.
Hi Free, well you are the one and only person I have ever read that has that perspective on the absence of first century messianic aspirants. Can you quote a link to another historian who agrees with you?

I wonder if we may be talking about different things? As Bucky points out, the word "messiah" meant different things to different people. What is your understanding of the word?

Let's remember that Christianity turned the word into something not Jewish. No Jew ever imagined that the crucified Yeshua was their messiah.

Devout Jews despised Paul and rejected his messages ie Christianity. The idea that their mysterious, perfect, one and only God could be incarnated in the form of Christ enraged them. They refused to believe that their God could die, or that a Christ’s death somehow addressed a primordial,sinful nature of humankind. Their messiah was never expected to be the savior of an individual’s soul, but of their entire people. The kingdom of God promised in scripture was not in heaven, but was to be on earth in the here and now. Their prophets had foretold that the messiah was to herald in a glorious age in which Israel ruled and brought the pagan empires of the world to the realization of the glory of their god, Yahweh. The messiah was to build the Third Temple (Ezek. 37:26–28), gather all Jews back to the Land of Israel (Isa. 43:5–6), and bring an end to the rule of the Romans. He was supposed to stop all exploitation, corruption, famine, disease, and war. Paul’s fictional Christ had done none of this!

So I, and I think many historians, have interpreted the Jewish messiah to have been a political leader who freed the Jews from Roman rule. As pointed out, there were many such people who imagined they were he. I think Yeshua was one.
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12-11-2012, 05:39 PM
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
(12-11-2012 12:06 PM)Free Wrote:  
(12-11-2012 11:45 AM)guitar_nut Wrote:  Lots of cool info being passed around here and I'm trying to understand what your definition of acceptable evidence is, Free. If I read correctly, you're asking for a written record from that specific time period (excluding Biblical references)?

I'm still trying to learn the process by which we develop a consensus on history...



A couple people on this topic, Bucky_Ball and Janus, have made a positive claim that there were many self-proclaimed and/or documented cases of Messiah's & Christs in existence during the 1st century in the area of Judea. They provided a list of names on a Wiki link. However, the Wiki link provides no evidence to support the people on that list that any of them were ever self proclaimed Messiahs/Christs, or that anyone else had entitled them as a Messiah or Christ.

Personally, I have always known this to be nothing more than a traditional rumor, so I asked them to provide any documented evidence that meets the following criteria:

1. Find any historical reference from any time in the 1st century where any persons on their Wiki list had proclaimed themselves to be a Messiah or Christ.

2. Find any historical reference from any time in the 1st century where anyone had ever regarded anyone on their Wiki list to be a Messiah or Christ.


Seems simple enough, and I gave them a broad range of 100 years in the 1st century to find some evidence.

So far, they have not been able to supply any evidence. Bucky keeps laying down Red Herrings and trying to change the topic into something else, such as talking about Josephus and whoever else. He makes assertions and offers opinions, but has not actually met the simple criteria that has been laid out.

As it stands, they have not been capable of substantiating their claims.

That's all it is.


Free...let's talk some more about this.
In Yeshua’s day there was a widespread hope among most Jews that a Messiahwould lead the people in a revolt to establish the kingdom of God, in which the world’s wealth would be distributed evenly, not condensed in Roman hands and aristocratic families. Josephus, writing in the late first century, explains this:
“That which chiefly excited them to war was an ambiguous prophecy, which was also found in the sacred books, that at that time someone, within their country should arise, that should obtain the empire of the whole world. For this they had spoken of one of their nation; and many wise men were deceived with the interpretation” (Josephus, Wars of the Jews). So here we have Josephus himself, clearly (to my mind) referring to the jewish messiah, and that "many wise men" were "'deceived" by this.



The following is lifted straight from the website http://www.josephus.org/causesOfWar.htm#messiah



[quote]The Reason Above All Others: A Messiah
War 6.5.4 312-315
But what more than all else incited them to the war was an ambiguous oracle also found in their sacred writings, that:
"At about that time, one from their country would become ruler of the habitable world."
This they took to mean one of their own people, and many of the wise men were misled in their interpretation. This oracle, however, in reality signified the government of Vespasian, who was proclaimed Emperor while in Judea.


Comment
This manifestly was understood as a prophecy of a Messiah, one appointed by the Lord to do His work on earth. But was it a prophecy of the Messiah, the one that would herald the passing of this world and the beginning of the World to Come?
All we can safely say from Josephus' evidence is that the revolutionaries expected divine assistance, and probably signs and miracles, in freeing their country and even taking command of the Roman Empire. The oracle said to them nothing less than the immanent arrival of a Jewish Empire to replace it. This is somewhat different from supposing the revolutionaries had eschatological expectations akin to the early Christians.
Part of the interpretation on this point hinges on the term used for "habitable world," oikoumene. This word usually means the Graeco-Roman world, but it could also indeed signify the whole earth; the latter would be a magical happening requiring some new cosmic order. Of significance to Josephus may have been that the term is used by Cyrus in 1 Esdras 2:3 (Septuagint translation) to refer to his own kingdom, and Cyrus is the only foreign ruler to be called a messiah (christ in the Septuagint). It was a commonplace to reread passages about Cyrus as referring to the contemporary to the Emperor of Rome, so this may have been the basis for Josephus' interpretation.
We do not know what oracle Josephus is citing here, although it seems to be one of the Sibylline Oracles held at Rome; it is also mentioned by the Roman historians Tacitus (The Histories) and Suetonius (The Twelve Caesars, the Vespasian section).
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12-11-2012, 05:57 PM
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
(11-11-2012 07:43 PM)Free Wrote:  
(11-11-2012 07:30 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  I just did. And your Josephus talks about them.

You most certainly did not.

Vespasian? You think Josephus regarded him as a Messiah? You are confusing your history.

What Josephus did was reinterpret Messianic prophesies to predict that Vespasian would rule the entire world. He did not say that Vespasian, a Roman, would become the Jewish Messiah.

That's ridiculous.

Are you also not aware that Josephus not ONCE mentions the word "Messiah" in his works of Antiquities of the Jews or The Jewish War? Also, are you not aware that Josephus only mentions the word "Christ" in reference to Jesus, and no one else in all his works?



Free....you should read this. It is one of the references Bucky brought up...( http://www.livius.org/men-mh/messiah/mes...nts13.html )

Vespasian (67 CE)

Sources: Cassius Dio, Roman History, 65=66.1.4, 65=66.8.1; Flavius Josephus, Jewish War 3.399-404 and 6.310-315; Suetonius, Life of Vespasian 4.5; Tacitus, Annals, 15.47; Tacitus, Histories, 5.13; Zonaras, Epitome 11.16.

Story: The Roman general Vespasian, who attacked the Jews, may seem an odd candidate for a Messiah, but nonetheless, his coup d'état in 70 was regarded as the fulfillment of the famous Balaam-prophecy that

Quote:a star shall come out of Jacob and a scepter will rise out of Israel. It shall crush the foreheads of Moab and break down all the sons of Sheth. Edom shall be dispossessed. (Numbers 24.17-19)
There were two comet. One appeared in late 64 (Tacitus, Annals, 15.47), the other, in 69, is mentioned by Cassius Dio (Roman History, 65=66.1.4). Most people thought that the new ruler would be the liberator of Israel, but Flavius Josephus claims to have found the true meaning of the prophecy.

Quote:What did the most to induce the Jews to start this war, was an ambiguous oracle that was also found in their sacred writings, how, about that time, one from their country should become governor of the habitable earth. The Jews took this prediction to belong to themselves in particular, and many of the wise men were thereby deceived in their determination. Now this oracle certainly denoted the government of Vespasian, who was appointed emperor in Judea. (Flavius Josephus, Jewish War 6.312-313)
The Roman authors Suetonius and Tacitus give the same interpretation of the prophecy, probably using the same source, who was not Flavius Josephus. This proves that there was at least one other author who shared Josephus' opinions.

Quote:There had spread over all the Orient an old and established belief, that it was fated for men coming from Judaea to rule the world. This prediction, referring to the emperor of Rome -as afterwards appeared from the event- the people of Judaea took to themselves. (Suetonius, Life of Vespasian 4.5)
The majority [of the Jews] were convinced that the ancient scriptures of their priests alluded to the present as the very time when the Orient would triumph and from Judaea would go forth men destined to rule the world. This mysterious prophecy really referred to Vespasian and Titus, but the common people, true to the selfish ambitions of mankind, thought that this exalted destiny was reserved for them, and not even their calamities opened their eyes to the truth. (Tacitus, Histories 5.13)
Comment: Josephus' messianology may seem hypocritical, but it is not. In his view, the Zealots had ruined Judaea, and God had sent the Roman general to punish His chosen people as a second Pompey. In the past, God had sent the Jews into exile in Egypt and Babylon; and he had used Philistine, Assyrian and Seleucid armies to punish his chosen people. This punishment could be considered a way to restore the true Israel. To call a foreigner a Messiah was nothing new: the Persian king Cyrus the Great had already been considered the Messiah, as we saw above.
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12-11-2012, 07:25 PM
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
(12-11-2012 09:32 AM)Free Wrote:  
(11-11-2012 09:49 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Hi Free, the reason you keep hearing about them is because there were so many.


In Yeshua’s day there was a widespread hope among most Jews that a Messiahwould lead the people in a revolt to establish the kingdom of God, in which the world’s wealth would be distributed evenly, not condensed in Roman hands and aristocratic families. Josephus, writing in the late first century, explains this:“That which chiefly excited them to war was an ambiguous prophecy, which was also found in the sacred books, that at that time someone, within their country should arise, that should obtain the empire of the whole world. For this they had spoken of one of their nation; and many wise men were deceived with the interpretation” (Josephus, Wars of the Jews).

Two secular Romans say something similar:“There had spread all over the Orient an old and established belief, that it was fated for men coming from Judea to rule the world.” (Seutonius, Life of Vespasian, 4.5).“The majority [of the Jews] were convinced that the ancient scriptures of their priests alluded to the present as the very time when the Orient would triumph and from Judea would go forth men destined to rule the world.” (Tacitus, Histories 5.13).

Throughout the first century revolutionary groups of zealots led by hopeful messianic leaders commonly formed, promised apocalyptic deliverance, but achieved nothing lasting.

The Qumran community, who compiled the Dead Sea Scrolls, was one such group. They had a pathological hatred for the Romans (whom they called the “kittim”) and the Sadducees. After years of Roman domination, they dreamed of a bloody revenge. A part of the Scrolls describes a fantasy of a battle in which the Kittim were crushed:“This shall be a time of salvation for people of God, and age of dominion for all the members of His company, and of everlasting destruction for the company of Satan… The dominion of the Kittim shall come to an end and iniquity shall be vanquished, leaving no remnant for the sons of darkness, there shall be no escape. The sons of righteousness shall shine over all the ends of earth; they shall go on shining until all the seasons of darkness are consumed and, at the season appointed by God, His exalted greatness shall shine eternally to the peace, blessing, glory, and long life of all the sons of light”(1QM1). The leader of the Essenian army who led them in this fantasized battle is unequivocally called the “messiah” (http://religiousstudies.uncc.edu/people/...4q521.html). They were obviously fanatical and totally deluded. None of this ever came true.


The poorer classes pondered over this political pipe dream.Any charismatic Jew brave enough to claim he was the messiah could soon collect a gang of Galilean paupers to back him up, particularly if he was said to be a descendant of David. A young Yeshua must have wondered who the messiah was going to be.

Judas, son of Ezekias, was one....
Galileans were so enraged with the Roman occupation they started skirmishes in 4 BCE, possibly the year Yeshua was born. Judas, son of Ezekias, gathered together a band of bandits who broke into the royal armory at Sepphoris, and stole weapons and money. Further south at Jericho, 30 kilometers from Jerusalem, another Jew named Simon led a pack who torched the royal palace. A shepherd named Athronges raised a rabble that roamed the countryside for a few months. Soon most of Galilee was in revolt. The Roman army responded with brutal force by marching into Galilee, burning towns and villages, and crucifying anyone resisting Roman rule. Three thousand Jews were massacred. There must have been much terror and many innocent people murdered. (http://www.josephus.org/causesOfWar.htm).
There is no mention of this violence in the Gospels, yet Mary, Joseph and their families must have been involved, either as participants or observers. Mary was a young girl vulnerable to rampaging troops. It is possible Yeshua’s biological father was a Roman soldier.

Judas of Galilee was another one....
Zealots were practitioners of armed military resistance against the Romans. As such they were more a militant political than a religious movement, but as with most things Jewish, their ideals were inspired by their religion. Galilee was the heartland of zealotry. Judas of Galilee (not to be confused with Judas Iscariot, the disciple - who was also a zealot) was an important zealot figure in 6 CE. This is part of what Josephus had to say about him.“Judas the Galilean was the author of the fourth branch of Jewish philosophy. These men agree in all other things with the Pharisaic notions; but they have an inviolable attachment to liberty, and say that God is to be their only Ruler and Lord. They also do not value dying any kinds of death, nor indeed do they heed the deaths of their relations and friends, nor can any such fear make them call any man lord.”
Josephus didn’t document what happened to Judas, but interestingly the author of Acts, wrote, “And then there was Judas the Galilean, at the time of the census, who attracted crowds of supporters; but he got killed too and all of his followers dispersed” (Acts 5:38, NJB). The author didn’t mention that Roman soldiers killed Judas because he didn’t want readers drawing parallels with Jesus. We know from other historians that most of Judas’ followers weren’t dispersed; they were killed in battle or captured and crucified.



Then there were three others in the first Jewish war...Josephus writes that there were a number of prominent zealots who entered Jerusalem and claimed they were the messiah.


The first was Menahem. Josephus states, “In the meantime, one Menahem, the son of that Judas, who was called the Galilean, took some of the men of note with him, and retired to Masada, where he broke open King Herod's armory, and gave arms not only to his own people, but to other robbers also. These he made use of for a guard, and returned in the state of a king to Jerusalem; he became the leader of the sedition.”Menahem captured the governor's palace at Jerusalem, laid siege to some minor Roman fortifications, and ordered the execution of the high priest Ananias. At this point, as the only leader of the Jewish revolt, he could boast remarkable successes. However, he incurred the wrath of Ananias’ son, Eleasar, who was the leader of the temple guard. Josephus continues:“The overthrow of the places of strength, and the death of the high priest Ananias, so puffed up Menahem, that he became barbarously cruel; and as he thought he had no antagonist to dispute the management of affairs with him, he was no better than an insupportable tyrant. But Eleasar and his party made an assault upon him in the temple, for he went up thither to worship in a pompous manner, and adorned with royal garments, and had his followers with him in their armor. Eleasar and his party fell violently upon him, as did also the rest of the people; taking up stones to attack him withal, they threw them at the scholar, and thought, that if he were once ruined, the entire sedition would fall to the ground. Menahem and his party made resistance for a while, but when they perceived that the whole multitude were falling upon them, they fled which way every one was able; those that were caught were slain, and those that hid themselves were searched for. A few of them escaped privately to Masada. As for Menahem himself, he ran away to the place called Ophla, and there lay skulking in private; but they took him alive, and drew him out before them all; they then tortured him with many sorts of torments, and after all slew him, as they did by those that were captains under him also.” Menahem’s moment of glory was short-lived.

Simon bar Giora was a more significant messiah, a competent commander of forty thousand soldiers. He set foot in the city in the spring of 69 CE. Archaeologists have unearthed coins in Jerusalem that have Simon’s stamp on them.

Finally, there was John of Gischala. In the first stages of the war, he and Josephus commanded armies in Northern Galilee. John and six thousand men later travelled south to defend Jerusalem.





Hello Mark,

Unfortunately, as mentioned earlier to other posters, none of those references can be accompanied with any written evidence from their time period that any of those ancient people had ever self proclaimed themselves to be a Messiah or Christ, nor is there any evidence that anyone else from their time period had ever considered them to be a Messiah or Christ.

One of the problems with modern scholarship is that there is an over abundance of the use of the Historian's Fallacy, in which some historians will view the past through the lens of present understanding. The only true way to understand what was going on in ancient times is to immerse ones self into the time period, and eat, sleep, and drink the culture from 2000 years ago. As they say, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do."

However, the incorrect concept of numerous 1st century Messiahs & Christs is so ingrained in our current culture that most people automatically assume it is true, when the reality is that there is simply no good evidence to support it. I'm not saying there were no other Messiah's or Christs, but only that there is no good evidence at all to get our teeth into.

We must understand that the list of ist century Messiah claimants only exists in modern literature, and not in ancient history. There simply is no actual historical evidence to support the assertions.



Ok...Free...I have read and reread your posts to try to understand your perspective.

I think you are saying there is no evidence that there were any wannabe messiahs because there is no written record of any of them claiming " I think I'm the messiah." Please correct me if I've misunderstood you.

Let's , as you say, put ourselves into the time and place of these characters. They didn't write their own biographies. They were illiterate, militant fundamentalist Jews. Yeshua, John the baptist, Judas (both of them), Menahem, John, Simon and all the others didn't keep diaries. All we can do is read what others have said about them. These others (such as Josephus, Seutonius, Tacitus) thought these characters considered themselves messiahs.

I'm not sure i understand why you are making such an issue of this. You are, as best I can tell, out on a limb all by yourself....not that that necessarily means you're wrong...but why is it such an issue for you?

Um...its...not....because....you....think.....jeebus was the only "real" messiah...is it?
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12-11-2012, 08:02 PM
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
Quote:Ok...Free...I have read and reread your posts to try to understand your perspective.

I think you are saying there is no evidence that there were any wannabe messiahs because there is no written record of any of them claiming " I think I'm the messiah." Please correct me if I've misunderstood you.

Finally, someone gets it. I never said there wasn't any other 1st century self proclaimed Messiahs, but only that there is no documented evidence from the first century about their existence.

Quote:Let's , as you say, put ourselves into the time and place of these characters. They didn't write their own biographies. They were illiterate, militant fundamentalist Jews. Yeshua, John the baptist, Judas (both of them), Menahem, John, Simon and all the others didn't keep diaries. All we can do is read what others have said about them. These others (such as Josephus, Seutonius, Tacitus) thought these characters considered themselves messiahs.

Yet not one of those guys ever mentioned the word "Messiah" in their description of these supposed claimants, did they? Nor did they mention "Christ," did they?

So what are you left with Mark? What you are left with are historians in the 21st century doing the best they can do to examine 1st century history and make a calculative and reasonable assumption that other so-called Messiahs lived in 1st century Judea.

But guess what? Not one of those historians will say that what their findings reveal is etched in stone. Not one.

Quote:I'm not sure i understand why you are making such an issue of this. You are, as best I can tell, out on a limb all by yourself....not that that necessarily means you're wrong...but why is it such an issue for you?

I take issue because extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and as far as any evidence that anyone in the 1st century ever proclaimed themselves to be a messiah, none exists.

Quote:Um...its...not....because....you....think.....jeebus was the only "real" messiah...is it?

Well, don't you know that Jeebus is coming back in a flying saucer with Elvis?

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