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Messiah Ben Joseph


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Can anyone help me understand messiah Ben Joseph? I guess there are two messiahs in some Jewish beliefs? Messiah Ben Joseph and then messiah be David? Could this story even around prior to Jesus and firm the basis for some of his elements? Is it possible that the gospel writers knew about this belief and then created their stories around this figure-- as well as the David figure to fit Jesus in as the ultimate messiah? Trying to understand !!!

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Wow I had never heard of this before.  Thanks for the tip.  Just googling so thought I would start with the wiki.  Not too reliable but a nice jumping off point: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Messiah_ben_Joseph

 

Sounds like it's from the Dead Sea Scrolls and earlier sources.  Interesting angle.  Looks like further investigation is warranted.  Thanks.  

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I have been reading a bit of Richard Carrier--- he has an interesting theory that some Jews saw a dying messiah in some of the Old Testament scripture-- and that messiah Ben Joseph may be an extension of this. If Christianity developed out of this branch of Judaism, it kind if makes sense that the New Testament writers would have a need to link Jesus to a joseph-- hence, a step-dad is written into the story.

 

Of course, when I was doing research on this--- Christians tie Jesus to messiah Ben Joseph-- but the Talmudic texts don't support this. The Jews see MBJ as a military leader who will fight evil prior to messiah Ben David appearing--- unless the Jews decide on their own to be "good"--- and then god will allow MJD just to come.. Sounds like a huge load of crap to me, and just another example of how misinterpreting scriptures can fuck everything up...what do you all think?

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I've seen some scholars claim there's an idea in some parts of Judaism that Messiah ben Joseph is a bit like an early Jewish version of ... the Antichrist! 

 

Viz. he's going to mislead Jews into going to war instead of being righteous.

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Correction--- I think the story I am referring to has some roman leader as someone exerting world domination and then MBJ fighting him and dying--- then Messiah Ben David comes and resurrects Joseph and slays the bad roman guy. I don't remember the name of this apocryphal book but it starts with a Z. Actually, when I read it, it seemed like the Jews were trying to weave the stories that were around in other religions to theirs--- again, this was written late--- but it shows a pattern of the Jews changing their storyline a bit. It lends credence to the thought that all of this is man made bullshit-- from the Christian writings to the Jews writings!! Reinterpretation at it's finest!!

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Wow I can't believe I have this much cred around here. I feel special, but honestly I'm just a novice Google scholar with no business speaking authoritatively on any subject other than myself. Even on that my wife would probably be a more reliable source.

 

I don't really have much to offer aside from what's in the Wikipedia article that's already been posted other than to caution against thinking that the contents of 4Q372 clearly spell out anything conclusive.

 

As I understand it, much of story was developed later and it's hard to say exactly when. Richard Carrier has blogged about this and I think he's going to be devoting some ink to it in his upcoming book on the historical Jesus. The topic is important in the historical Jesus debate because if Carrier can show that there was some kind of expectation for a suffering, dying and rising messiah in a least a minority sect of Judaism prior to the development of Christianity, he may be able to lend credence to the idea that there was no need for a single historical figure to base Christianity upon. As it stands, it's hard for people to swallow the idea of a completely mythical Jesus if there was no expectation within Judaism for a suffering (not to mention crucified) savior. IMO (which isn't worth much), the notion that Christianity emerged contrary to Jewish expectations about messiah is about the only compelling piece of evidence left to support the necessity of a historical Jesus as the best explanation.

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Ive read about this- but it was probably at least over a year ago.  It was my understanding that there did exist a tradition for a suffering messiah in Judaism (an obviously minority position) before Christianity in any real form took off the ground, or was labeled as such.  But no, I can't remember where I read it.  But apparently it's 'out there'.  

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Hymenaeus-- your name is a bitch to spell!! I was going to IM you but saw thst you found this post-- yay!! You are right on track with what I know. I have been following Richard carrier's theory on this-- he makes a fairly compelling argument that there were at least "some" Jews that thought there might be a suffering messiah prior to Jesus time--- the Mechelzidick scroll and the Gabriel stone are a couple of examples-- and Joseph is the patriarch of the original 10 tribes-- so he becomes one of the messiahs-- but the David messiah is more powerful. If this stuff was floating around in the first century (and people reinterpreting Daniel thought that this time frame might see the messiah--- it makes sense the the NT writers may have incorporated this into their Jesus development. Frankly-- this lends more credence to the mythythism argument than anything else I have seen.

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