On Messiahship, N.T. Wright



 Reading through a bit of Tom Wright's (who as Edward Fudge stated, "has written more books than he's read") book, Who Was Jesus, and came across this intriguing section:
“There was, after all, nothing particularly surprising in ordinary human beings thinking that they might be the Messiah. That of itself certainly didn't mean that the person in question was thinking of himself as divine. One of the most persistent mistakes throughout the literature on Jesus in the last hundred years is to use the word 'Christ', which simply means 'Messiah' as though it was a ‘divine’ title ( as in ‘The Jesus of history’ and ‘The Christ of Faith’, or ‘Jesus Who Became Christ’).
If Jesus thought of himself as Messiah, this is a completely different matter to the possibility…that he might have believed that Israel's God was active in and through him in a unique way. If we can get this separation clear, we will have done the debate a great service.
The transformation Jesus effected within the expectation of the Kingdom, and the hope for a coming Messiah, did not involve giving them up altogether. Rather, it meant radically redrawing them, focusing them on Jesus own suffering and death…Jesus, then, did not think the world would come to an end. If he had, his fellow Jews wouldn't have known what on earth to make of such a crank, since what they were longing for was for their God to act within continuing history, and bring them out on top. Jesus did, however, think that Israel's God was going to establish his Kingdom through his (that is, Jesus) own work. How this worked out in practice remains to be seen.” Pg 57-58

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