The Three Messiahs explains how a Jewish Messianic figure was transformed into Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God. From the writings of the Jewish historian, Josephus, Judas the Galilean was the only Messiah figure who matched the mythical Jesus of Nazareth in word and deed. Judas the Galilean preached a nationalistic message which pitted his followers against Herod the Great and Rome. Judas cleansed the Temple, was involved in a Barabbas-style prisoner release and led a tax revolt. His exploits were absorbed into the story of Jesus, who also cleansed the Temple, was involved in the Barabbas prisoner release and was arrested for his refusal to pay taxes to Rome.
To many Jews, Judas the Galilean was a failed Messiah. His followers, however, kept him relevant through the concept of bodily resurrection. They believed he would return and defeat the Romans. Paul accepted the resurrection but developed his own interpretation based upon personal revelations. His Messiah had nothing to do with Jewish politics but was a redeemer for all mankind. Paul's theology became the bridge between the historical Judas the Galilean and the mythical Jesus of Nazareth. With the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE, Paul's salvation theology soon replaced the Jewish nationalistic teachings of Judas. Within decades, Josephus' historical Judas the Galilean was replaced with the Gospels' Jesus of Nazareth.
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Published September 23, 2010
History, Religion & Spirituality, Education & Reference.