Chapter

Another Paraclete

Israel Knohl

in The Messiah before Jesus

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 2000 | ISBN: 9780520215924
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520928749 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520215924.003.0004
Another Paraclete

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This chapter suggests a historical identity for the Messiah before Jesus. The argument of this chapter is based on an assumption accepted by most scholars of the Dead Sea literature, though not by all. It refers to the identification of the people of Qumran with the Essenes, known to us from the writings of Josephus Flavius and the Jewish philosopher Philo of Alexandria. Despite the high degree of probability that this assumption is correct, it is not indisputable fact. The discussion that follows depends on the reasonableness of this assumption. The claim that the combination of divinity and suffering, which is clearly found in the messianic hymn, influenced the emergence of Christianity still stands, even if we do not succeed in identifying the hero of the hymns and the exact historical reasons for the rise of the messianic movement he headed. Those who reject the identification of the Qumran sect with the Essenes and thus would deny the historical identity of the Messiah based on that assumption will still have to grapple with the main thesis of this book.

Keywords: Messiah; Jesus; historical identity; Dead Sea Scrolls; Qumran; Essenes; messianic hymns; divinity; suffering

Chapter.  6092 words. 

Subjects: Christianity

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