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The One Who Is to Come Paperback – April 1, 2007

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company (April 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802840132
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802840134
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,261,740 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Joseph Fitzmyer is Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies at the Catholic University of America. He is the author of over 40 books including The Dead Sea Scrolls and Christian Origins and Spiritual Exercises Based on Paul's Epistle to the Romans, both published by Eerdmans.

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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Jeri Nevermind VINE VOICE on August 30, 2009
Format: Paperback
What did the Second Temple Jews believe about the Messiah before Jesus? Fitamyer, a fine, meticulous scholar, investigates, and finds some surprising answers.

One abiding theme is that of David's dynasty continuing. For example, Psalm 101 talks about a Davidic king and so does Psalm 110, which talks about "the enthronement of the Davidic king who is to rule in Jerusalem" (p 44). Moreover, the six royal psalms talk about a kingship that will last forever.

Fitzmyer finds that Daniel 9:24-26 was pivotal for the rise of messianism. Daniel's prophecy of seventy weeks of years led to a simmering sense of expectation among Jews.

Because of Daniel's prophecies, "belief in the coming David develops into that of a national Messiah, whom God will raise up as a descendant of David" (p 57). Other scholars have also found much the same thing. "R A Martin...(found) the earliest evidence of an individual messianic interpretation of Gen 3:15 to be dated in the 3rd or 2nd century BC" (p 70).

Extrabiblical Jewish writings support this. In Similitudes there are passages which talk about the "Danielic Son of Man and the Isaian Servant Songs" (p 86).

Many scholars have been excited by the Qumran texts which show a developing messianism. Some of the texts speak of a coming one Messiah; others mention two Messiahs. "An important instance of a text that mentions one Messiah is found in 4pGen...'the coming of the righteous Messiah, the Scion of David. For to him and to his offspring has been given the covenant of kingship over His people for everlasting generations'" (p 95).

By the late 2nd century BC, the Qumran texts reveal an expectation of an awaited figure. The texts also talk about the "High Priest" who would overthrow the Kittim.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Didaskalex VINE VOICE on May 26, 2010
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"How different that Jewish Messiah is from the Christian Messiah, who has already come. ... he bears in human history the name Jesus Christ, both among his followers and among those who are not." J. Fitzmyer

The last stage of the Messianic belief begins after the close of the Hebrew Bible books, when prophecy ceased in Israel, for almost four centuries. The messianic hope concept started gradual change, deteriorating towards acquiring mundane power, among the masses of the Jewish people, who suffered oppression by the pagan Roman empire. Exciting new insights have been provided recently, by the writings of numbers of scholars and some remarkable archaeological finds. The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls caught the popular imagination and engaged the attention of worldwide scholarship. Understanding this watershed period of history set the stage to appreciate the events and understand differences between the OT and NT, wrt Messianic hope, and prophecies.

Fr Fitzmyer articulated a series of essays tracing the roots of messianic hope in the Hebrew Bible, and Jewish extrabiblical writings. He assembled his research in a compelling historical progression in his well searched book chapters. His inclusion of the Septuagint's interpretation of relevant OT passages is crucial, since this Alexandrine Greek translation used a Hebrew Bible a thousand year older than the Masoretic.

The peek of his study is his exposition of the second temple messianic writing from 1 Enoch, including an extensive examination of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Various Qumran texts, an area of his expertise, reveal the developing pre-Christian Jewish messianism. Fitzmyer notes the Talmud does contain a belief in a messiah who precedes creates and is in some sense a "preexistent being.
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By GZP on April 12, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a rigorous and very detailed analysis of the meaning of those passages of scripture to which one might find attributed a "messianic" meaning in an attempt to uncover those passages which authentically (rather than "metaphorically") point to a heavenly agent. It is a work for scholars and requires strict attention to original context and details. Fitzmyer is a remarkable biblical scholar himself and has written some phenomenally level-headed books. This would likely be one of the smallest books in your collection (not 200 pages), but it is "no nonsense" from start to finish.
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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful By John Philoponus on November 22, 2008
Format: Paperback
"In the horizon of hope in the 'coming God' we confront Jesus, his mission and history with the ancient messianic question: "Are you the one who is to come?" Thereupon we will discover that the messianic claim of Jesus lies in the prolepsis of his proclamation of the kingdom." Jürgen Moltmann

The Messianic Hope:
According to the linguists, the Hebrew participle mashîah; from which we get the word messiah (to anoint), and therefore simply means 'anointed one'. Since the rite of anointing in Israel was 'merely at symbolic act', designating an individual as having been separated by God to act under the guidance of His Spirit, the term 'anointed' generally applied to those holding the office of priest, prophet and, in particular, king. Interestingly Kae remarks that during the biblical period of Israelite history the individual involved in inaugurating each new phase held all three messianic offices.Thus, owing to the weight of historical experience, he argues for an Israelite expectation that saw the inauguration of a new era by a messianic figure in whom all three offices were combined."

The Rabbinic Messiah:
Rabbinic literature generally believes in a personal Messiah to come. Rabbi Hillel (3rd century), however, declared: "There shall be no Messiah for Israel, because they have already enjoyed him in the days of Hezekiah." Rashi (1040-1105) interpreted this strange remark to mean that Hillel denies belief in a personal Messiah but believes in the coming of the messianic age. All the medieval Jewish thinkers however, affirm their faith in a personal Messiah. Rabbi Akiba recognized Bar Kochba, the rebel leader of disastrous insurrection of 132-135 A.D., as the Messiah even though he was obviously a human being and one who could perform no miracles.
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