< Messiah

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Somebody let me know if I managed to avoid bias in this article and speak neutrally. Can you tell whether I'm Jewish, Christian, or neither?
Also, what should I do about scriptural references? The Bible Dictionary version of this had many more references.

-- Looks good to me!

2 cents re your question: At least give the bib ref for this "Bible Dictionary" so others can look for themselves.

that Bible Dictionary was a 19th century production. Easton's Bible Dictionary - see one of the wikipedia pages of public domain resources. The ref remains at the bottom of most (name that Book of the Bible) entries. It was annoyingly non NPOV, let me tell you, and not only to non-Christians; it was annoyingly 19th C Protestant. As soon as someone seriuosly revises an entry or rewrites a lot the ref. should be cut, just as we should cut the Britannica refs readily, too. --MichaelTinkler

What's the current Jewish position on the Mashiach? Obviously not many people are currently expecting him to "liberate Jerusalem from the oppressive Roman rule" now.  :-)

See the entry on Judaism, and follow the link to Jewish eschatology for a description of the Jewish view of moshiach (the messiah).

Does anyone know the role of Elijah (see Malachi 4:5) in Jewish prophecy regarding the appearance of the Messiah? All I know is what my own church says Jews believed, and I hesitate (on NOPV grounds) to put that into the article without confirmation. --Ed Poor

What does your Church say that Jews believe? Judaism has no firm theological tenets on this point at all; there is no official Jewish belief. There is a legend that the prophet Elijah will return to announce the coming of the messiah. However, this legend is not in any of the various creeds that were written to explain the Jewish principles of faith. RK

This seems pretty fair and balanced to me. I do have one point, really a suggestion that you or someone else may know more about. I believe some historians of early Christianity argue that the Christian view of Jesus as Messiah was not made by the first Christians (i.e. the first generation or two of Jesus' followers) and is not even crystal clear in the synoptic Gospels. So perhaps Jesus really was very well-received by Jews when he first entered Jerusalem -- but as a teacher and a bit of a rebel, and not as a messiah? I recal a recent article in the New York Review of Books that touches on these issues (and cites a bunch of books). The High Priest may have had Jesus arrested not because Jesus had pissed of Jews but because he was stirring up trouble and that pissed off the Romans.

By the way, my recollection about Elijah is that he is the harbinger of the messiah. He is a special character, because he didn't die but went directly to heaven. That said, I think it is fascinating that Judaism doesn't make more out of him. He is in some prayers, especially a song sung at the conclusion of the Sabbath. Still, given that he didn't die, it is striking -- at least, I think, it reveals a striking difference between Judaism and Christianity (which theologically makes much of the problem of death and the possibility of resurrection). -- SR

I wrote a few paragraph on my church's position at Unification Church/Elijah. -- Ed